Under its private-label tech brand, AmazonBasics, Amazon sells Apple Inc. (AAPL - Get Report) Lightening to USB cables for connecting and charging the iPhone 7, 6 and 5 and iPad Pro, Air and Mini, among others. On Amazon.com, consumers can buy the AmazonBasics USB cord for $11.99, compared to the USB cord by Apple which costs $19 on its own site.
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Seems like a good deal, right? Maybe not.
Several users wrote in the reviews section on Amazon.com that their AmazonBasics USB cord overheated, melted and even caught fire in some cases. Some users provided photos to back up their claims.
On May 16, 2016, one customer, Lyle B. Bowers, warned fellow consumers to "DO NOT BUY!" He said the cord "melted and fried" his iPhone 6S Plus while it was charging with the AmazonBasics product.
"Luckily, I noticed the issue before an actual fire ignited," the customer wrote.
Amazon was not immediately available for further comment.
"Despite some of the negative reviews I read about arching, sparking, melting, etc. I [was] skeptical and decided to proceed with ordering this product based on the overwhelming amount of positive reviews along with the fact of having positive experience with AmazonBasics cables in the past. Well I am a believer now!" customer jrg wrote on Amazon.com on Nov. 16.
Jrg said the USB cord suddenly stopped working after two weeks of normal use. In examining what went wrong, the customer found that the cord was slightly blackened, appearing to have undergone an electrical shock, and that his or her iPhone that was connected to it was deformed.
"End of the cable melted and started smoking. Glad we caught it before a fire," another customer, J V, wrote on June 10, 2016.
While some customers called the AmazonBasics USB cord a "great product," others complain that it stops working after six months or even after only three uses.
Still, Apple's own Lightening to USB cable received a multitude of negative reviews on its own site, as well, with customers describing the cord as "pretty much garbage and "unreliable." One customer, Gianna B., wrote on July 5 that after leaving her USB cord in her car "for a few months," it caught fire.
Apple did not return a request for comment.
Amazon stock traded up 0.93% to $962.94 midday Wednesday. Apple shares were down 0.02% to $162.87.
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