Since its release alongside the iPhone 5, Apple’s lightening cable has been criticized for not being much durable. The cable is prone to breakage and fraying near the adapter. Now it appears that it is vulnerable to corrosion as well that diminishes its ability to charge an iOS device.
Jason O’Grady of the ZDNet reports that he noticed corrosion on the small gold contacts on hist lightening cable, that physically plugs into the lightning port on the iOS device, after it has been failing to charge the iPhone. He then discovered several threads on Apple forums where many other lightning cable owners reported the same issue.
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 (PN: MD818ZM/A, $19) reveals that several of the gold contacts have become corroded.
Some of the users were able to exchange their defected lightening cable at an Apple store, while others were accused of water damage (which isn’t covered by Apple’s warranty).
“brockap3”, a cable owner and Apple Discussions member put the damaged cable under a microscope to examine it and found that the damage is present on select pins of the cable. He offered two possible scenarios that could be causing this corrosion:
- Two gold electrodes placed in an aqueous solution with a positive voltage on one wire and ground applied to the other will corrode the positive gold electrode away
- Electrical arcing causing the corrosion (originally I dismissed this as it is just USB – i.e. 5 V /2 A max).
Most of the users started facing the corrosion problem approximately one month after they started using the cable with their iOS device.
Have you faced corrosion problem with your lightning cable?