Apple has been taking criticism for its new Lightning connector since it was introduced alongside the iPhone 5 in 2012. The change instantly made millions of cases and other accessories incompatible, forcing users to either buy updated products or do without.
Those complaints have since spilled over into the Lightning cable’s durability, with the Apple Store showing a 1.5 star rating of the cable on over 1,200 reviews. Apparently the cable is vulnerable to breakage, fraying, and according to a new report, corrosion as well…
“About a month ago the Apple Lightning to USB cable (PN: MD818ZM/A, $19) that I keep in my vehicle for charging my iPhone 5s began to fail. At first charging was intermittent, then within a week the cable wouldn’t charge my iPhone at all. A closer look at the male end of the Apple Lightning to USB cable reveals that several of the gold contacts have become corroded.”
And it’s not just O’Grady experiencing corrosion problems—several other users have taken to Apple’s support forums to complain of similar issues. Many of them said they were told by Apple the cause of the corrosion was moisture damage, but not everyone agrees.
Forum poster Jim Dion writes:
“I just returned a month old lightning cable and was told by the store that I had exposed it to moisture! When I said that I had not, they did not believe me, but it appeard that this was not the first one of these that they saw. They told me that they would replace it this one time but not again. This is why I pay them thousands of dollars, so that when a $3 cost cable fails they give me trouble? Not the way I would have handled it. They have a problem with this connector and are not prepared to admit it, so it is our fault.”
The complaints in the thread date all the way back to September 2012, but there are some recent posts as well. It sounds like Apple is now replacing these cables without issue, so if you are experiencing similar corrosion problems, it’s worth a trip to your local Apple Store.
But the bigger issue here is that malfunctioning charging components can be dangerous if undetected. In fact, Apple launched a trade-in program for third-party USB power adapters last fall following multiple reports where defective adapters caused fatal electrocutions.
Have you encountered any problems with your Lightning cables?