I need to buy an Apple 12W USB Power Adapter for my iPhone 5.

In eBay you can find replicas for one third of the price. Do you know if these can ruin your phone? I am more cautious about a third party adapter than just a simple cable, so if you could address if a third party cable were OK or more safe to use with an Apple Power Adapter.


Don't these accessories come standard with your iPhone 5 when you buy one?

I was travelling across China a few years ago and I bought a dozen of those 'cheap' adapters. They still charge my iPad and iPhone. So they do work and at first sight, they don't cause any harm to my devices.

But bare in mind Apple's adapters are probably the most safe ones to use. It makes sense a 19$ adapter provide more power, safety and guarantees then a 0,19$ adapter from eBay, DealExtreme,... There are even people claiming they will harm your iPhone (or your house).

Ken Shirrif has compared like 12 adapters and his findings are written in his blog.

To give a short answer, I have no bad experience in using "fake" adapters (which is no guarantee or reference at all!), but if you want to play safe, just buy the real stuff :)

  • Great blog post! That is all the info I need for the Power Adapter. I'll change my question to make it more modular. – John Assymptoth Feb 20 '13 at 10:13
  • Why more than one? One at home, one at the office. – John Assymptoth Feb 20 '13 at 10:15
  • That's what I figured when I reread my answer :) – Michiel Feb 20 '13 at 10:16

Replica Lightning to USB:

This is completely safe yes. Personally I only use replicas at home and have not experienced any problems with it. Usually the price is more than half of what the original lightning adapter is.

Replica cables:

Only CONS with replica cables is the quality of the termination at the ends of the cables. But as a PRO you can buy two-maybe three replicas in the price of one original. Just keep in mind to pull out the cable holding the plastic piece on both ends instead of pulling directly on the cable and you will be fine using those.

Replica Power Adapters (USB):

For the Power adapter itself (USB) have a look at the answer here. Personally i dont recommend those. Mostly for the quality Apple have versus the replicas. Feels safer to use the original in this matter.

  • That's exactly what I think.... but what about charging via USB? Do you think there might be charging/ transfer speed differences in the cables? The blog post mentions charging differences. – John Assymptoth Feb 20 '13 at 11:35
  • When you use aftermarket parts with a device, you take responsibility for any damage they cause. If you somehow damaged your phone if the lightning charger pins were not aligned perfectly and it shorted to a data pin, you might prefer to have Apple on the hook if their cable didn't perfectly match their device. As long as you can inspect the fit and finish of the cable, you might be able to generalize that the chipset inside the cable is also of high quality. A knockoff lightning cable seems less risky than a knockoff thunderbolt cable as much more smarts is built into thunderbolt. – bmike Feb 20 '13 at 14:05
  • @JohnAssymptoth : That goes for The Replica Power Adapters yes. Not for the Cables. When i answered yesterday, the question was only asking directly about the cables. But personaly (as earlier mentioned above) I would not recommend replicas for iDevices. This is mainly for iDevices since they are so fragile in the electrical circuits (my opinion). But for Android-devices and such it don't appear to be that critical to use original equipment since they use Micro / Mini USB on their devices. And regarding transfer speed on the cables: This will not make much difference keeping in mind the length – hrdy Feb 21 '13 at 10:39

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