Faking Apple

As a present for myself–for the next two years, because this is way over the budget–I got an iPod Nano from Power Mac Center. At the till, I asked the lady if a generic wall socket adapter/plug would do for charging and, of course, she said no. That’s how I ended up buying an original Apple wall socket (PHP 1,090, according to the Apple online store).

Before I get to the main point, a little background story:

My generic adapter came with an MP3 player/speaker cube I got for Christmas last year. By the way, the speaker cube is the best. Before I got the iPod, I used it as an MP3 player by inserting a micro-SD card loaded with music into its built-in slot. It functioned the same way as an iPod Shuffle (well, but without the shuffle). No screen. The sound blasted loud and clear, while the battery power was very good.

When I got my Nano, I decided to use the wire that came with the speaker cube to connect it with my iPod. Though the resulting sound wasn’t as loud as if I had directly inserted an SD card into the device (if the speaker was on full-blast), it could be adjusted by having the speaker on full blast while setting the iPod volume to 3/4s of the way full.

In summary, get the MP3 cube if you want a value-for-money speaker/audio player  that does the job good.

Okay, back to the plugs. I now have 2 plugs that I have to distinguish every time I want to charge, since they have similarities. It’s not so hard to tell the difference when you look closer though. Here’s a side-by-side comparison:

(Left) Apple original plug and (Right) generic/fake plug

Exhibit A: Front View

The very first way to distinguish the real one from the fake one has got to be text printed on the surface of the plug. Apple’s has a more natural look to it, whereas the generic one has a “stamped-on” appearance to it. Second, the actual text differs. Apple’s says “Designed by Apple in California,” while generic’s says “Designed HT WHP in California.” Third, the shade of gray and texture on each plug’s face is different. Apple’s is a lighter color with a smooth, frosted/matte texture, while the generic one is darker with a patterned/rough surface.

(Left) Apple original plug and (Right) generic plug

Exhibit B: Back View

The most glaringly obvious differences can be found in the backs of the plugs. Apple’s USB slot is found at the top, while the generic one’s slot is found near the bottom. Upon further inspection, I noticed how the USB slot in the generic one is looking a bit crooked. Also, the colors of the faces are different again, with the generic one having a yellowish tinge to it.

The Verdict:

Well, it’s not so confusing when you put the two side-by-side. Will I still use the generic plug? Not if I can help it. When it comes to electronics, I try not to risk it. I’ve had an awful experience with second-rate goods before, so I don’t like to take my chances.