Do Apple Power Adapters Work Overseas?

by Michael on February 13, 2012 · 3 comments

In a few weeks, I’m traveling to South America. In preparation, I’m trying to figure out what I’ll need in the way of power converters. As it turns out, just about the only things that I’ll need to plug in are made by Apple.

There are actually two issues here… Do I need a power converter? And do I need an adapter to make the plugs fit the outlets? As it turns out, Apple chargers will work pretty much anywhere on Earth without a converter.

As you’re likely aware, the power standard here in the United States is 110V at 60 Hz. Canada and Mexico are the same. But in many other locales*, the electricity standard is 220V at 50 Hz.

Take a close look at your Apple power adapter. In small (possibly very small) print, you’ll see that it works for voltages between 100V and 240V at 50-60 Hz. This is true of all recent iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Mac adapters.

But will it fit the wall plugs? That’s another question entirely, and the answer is maybe. I’ll be staying at a high-end hotel, and I’ve heard that most of these in the area have U.S.-style outlets available.

I’ll contact them in advance just to be sure, but I’m hopeful…

And, of course, if you have anything else that can be charged via USB, you can simply plug in into the USB ports on your Mac.

*Note: As far as South America goes, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay all appear to use 220V power. Brazil uses both 110V and 220V depending on where you are, and the more northern countries seem to use 110V.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

C.Sevilla February 26, 2012 at 8:37 am

Being a Peru native, I can tell you that they use two types of power connectors: The 1st looks just like the one we use here in the U.S. and works the same, except unlike U.S. plugs, they do not have an elongated hole and no ground connector. The second (and this is mostly found in the rural/poorer areas) look like two round prongs (Type C plugs).

Having traveled to Peru and Chile, I recommend you take a power strip with you and either A. Remove the ground prong and force the plug to the wall even if the thicker prong doesn’t fit or B, get an adapter for your items which remove the grounding and the elongated prong. At Radio Shack they are a few dollars and in whatever country you’ll go to they are about the same price but less quality.

Most countries in South America are 220v, with a few exceptions in Brazil, as you said, and Chile. You’ll find both of those countries can in fact seem very Americanized in the more popular areas.

Just don’t get shocked like I have, because 220V power is painful!


Jeff P December 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I’m going to Argentina in five days, bringing the usual Mac stuff with me. I have the plug adapter kit, which has worked just fine in Europe, Britain, and Australia. But I read that, while the Argentine plugs are designed so that the Australia plug adapter will fit into them, the polarities of the plugs are reversed…the neutral and the load ends are on opposite sides. But I can’t find any plug adapters that are labeled just for the Argentina plugs. What’s up?


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