Consumers might want to think twice before purchasing an Apple charger from Amazon.
The online retailer is a popular marketplace for those who are shopping around to buy a new or replacement product, but don't want to pay full price. And since it could start to get expensive to keep buying products directly from Apple, many might rather head to Amazon to replace their missing or broken iPhone or MacBook charger and the like.
But what consumers get might not really be what they paid for.
Apple claims that about 90 percent of power adapters that are marketed as genuine Apple chargers that are sold on Amazon are fake.
As a result, Apple filed a lawsuit on Monday, Oct. 17 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against the company Mobile Star for allegedly selling fake chargers and adapters under the Apple name on Amazon.
To be clear, Apple is not suing Amazon since it is not to blame for manufacturing the counterfeit items, and can only be to blame for allowing listings that falsely advertise Apple products. In its defense, Amazon wasn't aware that these products were fake.
Instead Apple filed a trademark infringement case against Mobile Star to prevent it from further selling its counterfeit versions of Apple's products.
Being such a huge brand, Apple is no stranger to coming in contact with knockoffs of its products. These include fake accessories, smartphones, tablets and other devices that are sold worldwide.
Even still, using its logo and brand on the listings for products that are genuinely from Apple is infringing on the company's copyright, which is why it is after $150,000 in damages regarding claims of the copyright infringement as well as up to $2 million for the alleged trademark infringement.
After purchasing more than 100 products that included power adapters, charging, Lightning and syncing cables that claimed to be official Apple products sold by seller and delivered with Amazon's "Fulfillment by Amazon" program, it found that about 90 recent of the products were fakes. Apple found that most of the counterfeit goods on Amazon.com were from the seller Mobile Star.
And what's troubling about this is people might be purchasing the item because they see the Apple logo and trust it, only to have the product be defective.
"Consumers are likewise unaware that the counterfeit Apple products that Amazon.com sourced from Mobile Star have not been safety certified or properly constructed, lack adequate insulation and/or have inadequate spacing between low voltage and high voltage circuits, and pose a significant risk of overheating, fire, and electrical shock," the lawsuit reads.
And according to Amazon reviews, some of the adapters purchased did overheat or cause fires.
Amazon has since banned Mobile Star from being able to sell products on its site.
However, Apple found that the company has also been selling the counterfeit Apple Lightning cables and even fake EarPods on Groupon and through direct sales.
While it may look like a bargain to get Apple products from Amazon, it might just be worth spending the extra money and getting the real thing without having to worry about the charger causing your iPhone 7 to explode.
Photo: José Fonseca | Flickr