Apple recalls power adapters over risk of electric shock

The Apple power adapter recall in several countries comes at the end of a rough business week for the tech giant. 

Michaela Rehle/Reuters
An Apple logo marks the entrance of an Apple store in Munich, Germany. Apple will recall millions of wall plug adapters that were designed for use in Europe and parts of Asia and South America.

Apple has been having a pretty mixed week.

The tech giant announced Thursday that it will recall millions of power adapters that it sold outside the US between 2003 and 2015. In rare cases, the adapters pose a risk of electric shock if touched.

“Apple has determined that, in very rare cases, the two prong Apple AC wall plug adapters designed for use in Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Argentina and Brazil may break and create a risk of electrical shock if touched,” the company said in a statement on its website. Apple will replace the affected adapters free of charge. 

Apple says that other adapters it sold during the same period, including those for use in China, Japan, and the United Kingdom, have not been affected. The affected adapters were also included in Apple’s  “World Traveler” adapter kit. According to a press release, there have been 12 incidents related to the adapters.

Apple isn’t the only bug tech company that has faced issues with some of its power accessories recently. On Jan. 20, Microsoft issued a recall for Surface Pro power cords after some users expressed concerns about their cords overheating. And in 2014, Hewlett Packard issued a recall for approximately 6 million power cords following separate complaints of cords overheating and property damage.

Apple’s recall comes at the end of a difficult week for the tech company. Global iPhone sales are beginning to show signs of slowing down. As the iPhone reaches its saturation point in China, Apple is now looking to other markets, like India, where it can begin to build and expand its audience of iPhone users and ensure lasting profitability.

Earlier this week, however, some iPhone suppliers anonymously told Reuters they are concerned the iPhone has reached its peak of innovation. Critics say the iPhone is no longer as new, fresh, and exciting as it was nearly a decade ago when it first launched, which may contribute to weaker sales.  

"The pace of innovation has slowed. Apple is going toward the same direction as other brand names," a Taiwanese Apple supplier told Reuters.

In addition to the slump in iPhone sales, on Wednesday Apple’s Safari browser crashed. Some users were unable to access the browser for nearly seven hours due to a glitch on the server. The glitch was caused by a bug that forced the application to close when suggestions were typed into the search box.  

Yet Apple has also had tremendous financial gains despite the rough patch. On Tuesday, Apple announced that it had had one of its most profitable quarters ever in the first fiscal quarter of 2016.

Apple stock also continues on an upward trajectory. It opened at approximately $94.79 a share on Friday and held was moving slightly higher at noon.

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