Don't you just hate when you lose an Apple accessory and have to purchase a costly new one, especially when it's a basic accessory such as a charger? Why are they so expensive? Ken Shirrif decided to tear an iPhone charger apart. And what he found justifies the expense.

"Apple's power adapter is clearly a high-quality power supply designed to produce carefully filtered power. Apple has obviously gone to extra effort to reduce EMI interference, probably to keep the charger from interfering with the touchscreen. When I opened the charger up, I expected to find a standard design, but I've compared the charger to the Samsung charger and several other high-quality industry designs, and Apple goes beyond these designs in several ways...

"Apple's design provides extra safety in a few ways... the super-strong AC prongs, and the complex over-temperature / over-voltage shutdown circuit. Apple's isolation distance between primary and secondary appears to go beyond the regulations...

"Apple's iPhone charger crams a lot of technology into a small space. Apple went to extra effort to provide higher quality and safety than other name-brand chargers, but this quality comes at a high cost."

Apple seems to squeeze plenty of technology into tiny spaces. It's the best kind of over-engineering for a safe, solid and concealed small package.

It may not need to be that good, of course. Especially since the extra quality, according to Ken, probably adds an extra dollar or so to the cost of the components that other chargers use. The rest is all margin.