Lightning Cables Failing Due to Corrosion, Cause Unclear

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Since being introduced alongside the iPhone 5 in 2012, Apple's Lightning cable has been criticized for its poor durability, as it is prone to breakage and fraying near the adapter.

    It appears the Lightning cable may be vulnerable to corrosion as well, according to a report from ZDNet's Jason O'Grady, who noticed corrosion on the gold contacts of his Lightning cable after it had been failing to charge his iPhone.

    In addition to O'Grady, several other users on Apple's Support Communities have experienced corrosion issues as well, with reports dating back to 2012. Several users have been told by Apple that it is likely that the cables were exposed to moisture to cause the corrosion, but several reports suggest there was no contact with liquid before the corrosion appeared.

    Apple Community user "Brockap3" supplied photos of his Lightning cable under a microscope and suggested that the corrosion was happening primarily on the VBUS/V++/Power pin on the Lightning cable. He offered two explanations for the issue:
    Apple does appear to be exchanging Lightning cables that are unusable due to the corrosive deposits, so it is likely that users experiencing issues can have their cables replaced at an Apple retail location or through an Authorized Service Provider.

    Article Link: Lightning Cables Failing Due to Corrosion, Cause Unclear
  2. TimeSquareDesi macrumors regular


    Apr 25, 2013
    Vacaville, CA
  3. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    happened to one of mine, will try to get it replaced.
  4. pmz macrumors 68000

    Nov 18, 2009
    Yeah when they replace them for free it certainly seems that way.
  5. macnerd93 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2009
    United Kingdom
    mines been through the washing machine and it still works fine :)
  6. Mac Eagle macrumors member

    May 5, 2010

    sorry, my apologies to everyone in advance. I just couldn't resist.
  7. Codyak macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2012
    Only problem I've had is on one of mine, the outside cover is fraying.
  8. cymad macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2012
    iPhone 5 = usually outside warranty. Apple didn't exchange my cable after it stopped working. They told me I could buy a new cable for £15, so I decided to buy 10 cables for £8 on eBay, that's £0.80. They still seem to work. Maybe Apple should try copying the knock offs.
  9. Radio macrumors 68000

    Mar 5, 2012
    Central California
    I've been highly Disappointed with the lighting adapter.

    Apple should of just killed the cable and created a charge sync wifi station
  10. arian19 macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
    use a toothbrush to scrub that corrosion off, and you are back in business.
  11. acidblue macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2009
    Roswell, GA (unfortunately)
    This accessory may not be supported.

    I have 3 Apple Lightening cables (shipped with iPod, iPad and iPhone). One of the cables just recently started to cause the "This accessory may not be supported." error. It doesn't pop up immediately every time. But, after a few minutes it might display on the phone and stops charging. It was really annoying when I found out it was having a problem when I actually needed to use the cable when I was at work and my phone was runnin' low. How annoying. I don't see any corrosion on the leads though. So, I wonder what other issues there could be. Or, I could just have a bad cable.

    If I'm near an Apple store, I'll try to return it and see if they will replace it.
  12. DonutHands macrumors regular


    Dec 20, 2011
    Los Angeles
    liquid, condensation, sweat, on the cable, then plug it in and it corrodes. omg, wow, who would have thought.
  13. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
  14. definitive macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    and that's why it's a good idea to skip apple's overpriced cables, and buy several cheaper and compatible cables off of ebay instead.
  15. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

    Aug 11, 2010
    iPod/iPhone cables have never been Apples strongpoint for durability.

  16. goobot macrumors 603


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    I think when they said gold they mean color, because as you said gold doesn't corrode.
  17. carjakester macrumors 68020


    Oct 21, 2013
  18. zorinlynx macrumors 601


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    This happened to one of my cables. All the others are fine. The one it happened to happens to be the one that was in my car for a long time, where there's moisture and heat in the summer.

    Coincidence? I think not; the one on the 30-pin to lightning adapter stuck in my iHome alarm clock, which gets a plug-in-and-out cycle every 24 hours or so, is perfectly fine.

    They just need to engineer them a bit better to resist moisture and heat, I think.
  19. vpndev macrumors 6502

    May 11, 2009

    I've been very happy with the redesign of the Magsafe connector. The "T" version was a problem but the "L" one has been fine. I notice also that the cable itself is stiffer
  20. bearbo macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2006
    It's amazing how people don't take care of their products, and go blame the manufacture when they break their things. Out of the 20 some OEM Apple USB cables and power adapters that I used over the last 10 years, none of them shows sign of fraying. Some power adapters eventually failed, but not from frayed cable.

    Not saying Apple's products and peripherals don't ever fail, but frayed cables are usually the users' fault.
  21. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009

    most of mine fell apart, unlike the "fake" ones i've bought on amazon
  22. seble macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2010
    Lies. Every apple charger (and headphone cable) I've had since 2007 has broken or frayed at some point. This goes for Macbook, iOS device you name it. They're simply terrible. The only Apple cables I've not had to replace are the ones in static machines (iMac) and in my 2003 powerbook, of which has that 'ugly looking' anti fraying device shown on the black cable that someone posted above.
  23. ENduro macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2008
    Detroit, MI
    You're not charging it right.

    Seriously, if you're going to try and lock down your cables to maximize profit you best make them bulletproof. Including against fraying because that isn't abuse, it's normal wear and tear and should hold up to it. Best to just get a Mophie and use the mini USB to charge it. Or blow on them like a Nintendo cart.
  24. christarp macrumors 6502


    Oct 29, 2013
    am I the only one that has never had any problem with their apple cables?

    Even my original 30 pin on my ipod video (2005) still works perfectly (even the buttons you need to press to release it from the device!) and has no fraying at all. Every 30 pin I have and every lightning cable I have is still in near perfect condition.
  25. mbh macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2002
    That enlarged photo looks like solder splatter. Maybe the cable picked this up at the factory, or at the home or work of the owner if they do any soldering.

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