iPhone 8(+) How durable are iPhone charge ports?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by tonybarnaby, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. tonybarnaby macrumors 65816

    Dec 3, 2017
    Considering how tiny a lightning port is and how often we plug our phones in, I'm wondering if it's a common issue with iPhones where the charger port gets loose or needs to be replaced. Is this a diy job? Worse case scenario I'd just start wireless charging. Just curious is all.
  2. Hal~9000 macrumors 68000


    Sep 13, 2014
    I’ve used lightning ports since the iPhone 5s and have never had an issue with durability. In addition I can’t say I’ve seen any forum threads on lightning port issues to think it would be something to worry about.

    Perhaps someone has a different experience than me though...
  3. sax6575 macrumors newbie


    Dec 13, 2017
    Never seen or heard of this happening with lightning nor the 30pin ports. Worst thing I've seen is someone breaking off their lightning charger in the port on an iPad.
  4. TokMok3 macrumors 6502

    Aug 22, 2015

    Depends how careful the user is, same principle applies to wire headphones. My iPhone 6 after 3 years is in pristine condition, as the first day... including the cable.
  5. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    It's certainly not a common problem, given that the thousands of time somebody will charge their iPhone throughout the life of it. And I don't see this as a do it yourself type of job, likely because it's such a difficult area to access and a repair that most don't have knowledge on. It could also void the warranty if it wasn't repaired properly by somebody trying it on their own.
  6. JPack macrumors 68030


    Mar 27, 2017
    Micro USB and Type-C are rated for 10,000 mating cycles.

    Even if Apple designed Lightning for half that, it would last nearly 7 years with two cycles a day.
  7. Givmeabrek macrumors 68040


    Apr 20, 2009
    I haven't heard of a damaged or loose connector. Usually any problem comes from a connector full of lint or debris. I don't like the fact that you can scratch up the bottom of the iPhone when using the lightning connector. Anyway I don't use the lightning connector anymore. It's wireless for me. :)
  8. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Only issue as far as it breaking I know someone who damaged their because it fell off the dresser and landed on the connector. I think they had to replace the phone as the connector was soldered to one of the boards.

    They seem robust but I am spoiled and just place mine on the charging pad each night.
  9. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Some of my family members are still using 5S iPhones and connect using the Braille method. No problems, ever.

    I thought I had a bad Lightning port in my iPhone 7 late last year. Turned out that pocket link had half-filled the port...solved with a wood toothpick.
  10. rugmankc macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2014
    For all the bad news lately, Apple still makes quality products---
  11. tonybarnaby thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dec 3, 2017
    I had issues with multiple micro usb cables becoming loose and barely being able to plug in. Especially 3rd party cables. Glad to hear Apple is solid.
  12. TokMok3 macrumors 6502

    Aug 22, 2015
    It seems that control quality is going by the boards lately.
  13. giggles macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2012
    By the way if you look at iFixit disassembly articles, you’ll see that 8/8+/X have a new and possibly sturdier lightining port.

    Personally I think the most damage you can make is with chemicals, alcohols, dirt, grease and oxidation, not mechanical (unless we are talking really brutal fall damage).

    I had a couple of “chemically aged” cables start working only on one side (if you don’t know, at usb2 speeds lightning only uses the pins on one side).
    I had one “chemically aged” and dirty port on a iphone 6+ gradually stop working unless I wobbled the hell out of it. Had to pay a third party service to replace the part.
    I’m currently having a 1 year old dirty or oxidized Airpods case start working only on one side.

    It’s like my cables transfer a disease to my ports sometimes, hence only on the actually used side.

    I’m bit around alcohols and other chemicals so maybe I’m not a typical user.

    Let’s just say I’m happy wireless charging became a thing and I look forward to the new airpods case with Qi.
  14. estabya macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2014
    I had a 6S with a defective port (would only charge if head of the lightning cable was pushed down), but the problem was there from day 1. Not really a durability issue.

    The lightning device I had the longest was my Air 2 (2.5 years). I charged it 3-5 times a week on average and never had any problems.
  15. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Micro, or mini? I assume you mean micro, but I want to bring back to collective memory here the fact that the mini-USB connector was terrible, having a shockingly low (for this type of equipment) number of insertions in its design spec.
  16. cappo3 macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2014
    I used an iPhone 6 since its launch in 2014, got to about 1100 charging cycles on it... The lightning port is working perfectly, it was never an issue!
  17. akash.nu macrumors 603


    May 26, 2016
    I’ve never heard of anyone having issues with the lightning port as such. The only problem I’ve seen is gathering lint within the port and having issues with connecting the cable properly. A quick cleanup gets rid of it.
  18. praterkeith macrumors 6502


    Oct 30, 2005
    Montgomery, AL
  19. Grey Area macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2008
    I have read quite a few reviews on Apple's docking station claiming that it loosens the lightning port, eventually breaking it. Just going by the design this seems plausible (the iPhone being held upright in a slightly leaning position, just by the connector in the port), but I don't know if it is true or widespread.
  20. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    I haven't read those but it seems plausible. Another possible issue with those, that I think about every time I am at an Apple Store, is that it's fairly hard to put the iPhone back down on the connector at just the right angle, which could put a lot of physical stress on the port.
  21. Brandonjr36 macrumors 68000


    Sep 12, 2016
    Had my x over a month and I don’t use my lightning port. I’ve used it a whole 3 Times. Twice to charge in the car and once for an iTunes backup. I wireless charge at night and have AirPods for headphones.
  22. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    This is a valid point. I think now that Apple is getting into the wireless charging side of things, the lightning port will see less use overtime for those who want the convenience of wireless charging. Especially that QI has plenty of options for the iPhone 8/X.
  23. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    I've been using iPhones since the original. Only model I skipped out of all of them has been the iPhone 7. Out of all those phones -- 30-pin and Lightning ports -- I've never had one go bad. Not suggesting it can't happen, but it's very uncommon. And no, definitely not a DIY repair.
  24. quietstormSD macrumors 6502a


    Mar 2, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    My iPad Air first gen went to crap for this under 2 years of owning it. I think the way I was using the iPad sometimes being pulled or tugged by the lightning port really did it in. But yeah I was hoping for more durability.

    I haven’t had issues with iPhones but I generally don’t use them while they are connected to a charger like I do with the iPad. If I do it’s usally at a desk so they aren’t being tugged on by the lightning port.
  25. Dented macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2009
    Recently my iPad Air has developed some issues with charging - I’ll plug it in for a day and then discover it’s not charged at all, toggle the socket and suddenly it’s charging fine - I suspect a port issue.

    Previously my launch day 6S developed the now infamous battery shutdown problem after a year of ownership and I sent in to Apple - this was literally a week or so before they admitted they had a problem with faulty batteries. They actually had the cheek to refuse to even look at it until I paid them £200 to repair a “faulty” lightning port, based on the fact that one of the pins was slightly depressed (they sent me a photo of the port) which they insisted must have been down to user damage and therefore not covered by warranty. I’d done nothing to the phone other than charge it normally with the supplied cable, and in fact the port worked perfectly for charging and data (and as we now know the shutdown problem was completely unrelated). I refused to pay and they sent it back to me in the same state.

    So in summary - yes there are durability issues with the lightning port, in my experience, and not only that but Apple will NOT admit any liability if it goes wrong, regardless.

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