Unauthorized Third-Party Chargers May Damage iPhone 5 Charging Circuitry

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has warned consumers against using third-party power adapters with their iOS devices as they can cause safety issues such as burns and electrocutions, but as it turns out, third-party chargers that have not been approved by Apple may also be responsible for causing damage to one of the chips in the iPhone 5.

    According to UK repair company mendmyi and first reported by iMore, cheap third-party iPhone chargers and USB cables can possibly damage the U2 IC chip on the logic board of the iPhone 5, which might the device to fail to boot up or charge past 1% battery life after the battery drains.

    The U2 IC chip controls the charge to the battery, the sleep/wake button, some USB functions, and regulates the charging power to the power IC that actually charges the phone. When damaged, the chip can fail to work properly, which prevents an iPhone 5 from turning back on. While a fresh replacement battery will power the iPhone, once the battery is depleted, the issue resurfaces.

    Mendmyi says that it has seen multiple iPhone 5 devices with a damaged U2 IC chip and has narrowed the problem down to third-party chargers and USB cables, which do not properly regulate voltage.
    It is not clear if the issue is limited to the iPhone 5 as some users have also reported third-party charger issues with the iPhone 5c, which may use the same component, but the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5 use different U2 IC components. Users with an iPhone 5 experiencing charging issues that have used a third-party cable may have damaged their devices, which will need to be repaired by Apple or another repair outlet.

    Apple has regularly recommended against using third-party chargers and cables. In mid-2013, the company even launched a third-party power adapter recycling program, following the electrocution of a Chinese woman allegedly caused by a counterfeit charger. Apple ran the recycling program from August to October of 2013, recycling counterfeit adapters and providing customers with a $10 credit towards an Apple-branded charger.

    As of iOS 7, Apple also warns customers when they are using unauthorized cables or accessories with their devices. The company's Lightning connector, introduced with the iPhone 5, fourth generation iPad, and original iPad mini, utilizes several different chips to manage dynamic pin assignment and to recognize whether connectors came from authorized channels.

    Apple's own chargers, as well as those that have been MFi certified, "undergo rigorous testing for safety and reliability," according to the company, and are designed to be safe and work properly with iOS devices.

    Article Link: Unauthorized Third-Party Chargers May Damage iPhone 5 Charging Circuitry
  2. Chrjy macrumors 6502a


    May 19, 2010
    How long before people realise they should just buy Apple approved chargers etc, surely if they can afford the products they can afford an extra few dollars for the correct accessories!
  3. borneo76 macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2012
    i just use whatever coming along with the box for the charger
  4. macs4nw macrumors 601


    In this case, trying to save a couple of bucks is just not worth the risk people.
  5. poematik13 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2014
    I use the Apple charger in my nightstand but in my car I use an amazon-basics branded lightning cable and a PNY USB power adapter....

    I hope my phone isn't fried :((((
  6. citi macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2006
    Simi Valley, CA
    Please. I get that same warning on authentic Apple purchased cables and I've had to replace two of them. They are not as durable as the old connector.
  7. Medic311 macrumors 68000


    Jul 30, 2011
    bought a 10-pack of bulk-packaging iPad 10W chargers and a 10-pack of bulk-packaging iPhone 5W chargers from OWC. total cost was ~ $60. according to the site they were bulk-packaged OEM ones. who knows. for cables i use amazon lightning cables

    never had a problem

    now if you go onto ebay and buy some random white block charger from one of those hong kong power sellers for $0.01 w/ free shipping...well...what do you expect.


    the amazon lightning cables are even worse than the apple ones as far as durability. each of my amazon cables lasts no more than 8-10 months and they keep getting replaced under amazon's 1 year warranty. i'm not the only one, there are many reviews with similar complaints. they separate right at the neck of the connector
  8. krewger macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2012
    Two thoughts. One, where is the apple car charger? They don't make one. Two, where are the 6ft cables from apple? They don't make any. While they say that you shouldn't use anything but their chargers, the chargers themselves don't cover all the needs of where the device is used. I would happily buy their version of it was available but they aren't so I can't.
  9. Born2run45 macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2012
    I'm not surprised. the charging port on my old 4s was fried by a cheap charging cable. won't make that mistake again.
  10. genovelle macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2008


    There are several that they sell in the Apple store that are certified for iPhone. I have one myself.
  11. gordon1234 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2010
    The MacRumors article doesn't make it clear, but I think when they say "third-party chargers" they're really referring to no-name Chinese chargers and cables that don't bother to conform to any safety standards.

    There are tons of third-party chargers from reputable companies that I have never heard of causing any problems. In fact, if you go into any Apple store, you'll find a whole wall of third-party chargers – batteries, docks, car chargers. If Apple sells them directly, I think it's safe to say they aren't going to destroy your phone.
  12. usersince86 macrumors 6502


    Oct 24, 2002
    Columbus, Ohio
    I wish they would offer the $10 program again; I have a couple of 3rd party chargers...
  13. willyx macrumors member

    Apr 25, 2014
    overpriced cables

    How about they lower the price of the cables and licensing costs of MFi program for chargers, so we can buy reasonably priced chargers for the already expensive products?

    Specially when the ones they make are of a very questionable durability (corrosion, easy peeling).
  14. MasterMac macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2003
  15. msotb macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2014
    I always used my Apple charger with my iPhone 5. Since the beginning I was occasionally getting a similar message, but it said more like that the accessory wasn't compatible when I plugged in to charge. Within about a month I started having problems with bad connection when charging. It got worse until it was almost impossible to charge.

    I have had iPhones since the original came out in I believe 2007. I have upgraded regularly, and have had four iPhones on my plan for some years. The iPhone 5 was the first with the lightening connector, and it was the first that I had problems charging.

    Whatever the reason for my charging problem, it caused me to switch to a Windows Phone, although I still have three iPhones on my plan.
  16. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    Thanks, this is true and I've clarified that. There are plenty of MFi certified accessories that work fine.
  17. Alenore macrumors 6502

    Apr 7, 2013
    You seem to be new with Apple accessories.
  18. bilbo--baggins macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2006
    I always use Apple chargers - except where they aren't available such as car chargers. I assume that if my iPhone doesn't warn me that the car charge I have is approved by Apple?
  19. cobbyco macrumors 6502a


    Aug 6, 2012
    So presumably the same problem with the 2012 5th gen iPod touch as well?
  20. enigmatut macrumors regular


    Jan 28, 2008
    MFi program?

    Only one reference to "Made for iPhone/iPod" certification, here:

    ... but I really hope we can assume that means MFi-certified chargers/cables are not included in the category of "3rd party accessories that might kill you". The MFi category would then cover all the above questions like "what about car chargers?"
  21. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    apple should just sell the cables at slightly over cost instead of the extortion price of $20. especially since they are so badly made and tear up very fast
  22. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    First, here is a 6ft cable from Apple: http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD819ZM/A/lightning-to-usb-cable-2-m?fnode=45

    Second, the article doesn't warn against using chargers not specifically made by Apple, rather it warns against using chargers and cables which are not MFI certified by Apple. Apple sells plenty of MFI certified car chargers in their own store: http://store.apple.com/us/iphone/iphone-accessories/car-audio#!&f=iphone5&fh=35e4+2af5
  23. The Barron macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2009
    You get what you pay for!

    Pay now, up front or pay a whole lot more later with heartache, stress & more out of pocket. :eek:
  24. CarlJ, Jun 19, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2014

    CarlJ macrumors 68030


    Feb 23, 2004
    San Diego, CA, USA
    What are you people doing with them? Playing jump rope? Hog-tying cattle? Yanking them out by the cable rather than pulling the plug itself out of the socket?

    I've had an iPhone 5 since shortly after they came out, have had only genuine Apple Lightning cables (3ft and 6ft) in the house and car, and have never had any of them stop working.

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