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Third party Lightning cables can damage your Apple iPhone 5...and kill you

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Third party Lightning cables can damage your Apple iPhone 5...and kill you
Nearly a year ago, we told you the story of a Chinese flight attendant, who was allegedly killed from a shock she received when she answered a call on her Apple iPhone 5. Over the next several weeks, we passed along reports about people who were severely injured from a shock they received by merely touching their iPhone or iPad. If there was one common thread that ran throughout these experiences, it was that these people had third party chargers on their devices.

Apple tried to get these third party chargers "off the streets" by instituting an exchange program and also by educating consumers. But go into any pharmacy in the U.S. and you will see the Chinese made chargers, priced low enough to entice buyers.

Third party chargers can damage the U2 CI chip (circled) which is involved in recharging the battery

Third party chargers can damage the U2 CI chip (circled) which is involved in recharging the battery

These cheaply made chargers, which do not qualify under the Made For iPhone program (MFi), are a danger to your phone as well as your life. These third party chargers cause damage to a component on an internal logic board that deals with the battery. This component, the U2 IC chip, controls the recharging of a battery on the iPhone 5. The cheaper Lightning knockoffs burnout the chip which means that once the battery is out of power, your phone is dead. Even when a brand new power cell is placed into an iPhone 5, once the battery life hits 0%, the cell cannot be recharged and the phone is essentially bricked.

The problem is that the third party chargers do not regulate the charging mechanism inside the phone, leading to the release of excessive voltage that can damage the chips inside the device. Replacing a fried U2 IC chip can cost over $100, so next time you reach into the bin to pick out a cheap charger, remember that the money you save on purchasing the knockoff part won' be enough to cover repairing the damages caused by the third party charger. And of course, there is the chance that your life is in danger too. For a few bucks more, you can purchase the Apple certified part, keeping you and your phone safe.

source: Mendmyi via RedmondPie

156 Comments
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posted on 22 Jun 2014, 10:39 5

1. darkkjedii (Posts: 12363; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Simply stop buying them, problem solved.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 10:59 16

10. magnanimus (Posts: 306; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


Oh thanks for the heads up. I was previously planning on picking up a couple after reading the article on how they could kill you.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 11:33 12

12. RoundhouseMcGee (Posts: 188; Member since: 25 May 2014)


I agree with you, people really should stop buying iphones.
I....agree...with...YOU. I feel dirty. I need a shower.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 11:39 2

13. darkkjedii (Posts: 12363; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Pointless.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 11:46 8

15. RoundhouseMcGee (Posts: 188; Member since: 25 May 2014)


Yes, iphones are, comparatively speaking pointless. Holy crap, we are really in synch today. Glad to see you've finally come to your senses. I would like to be the first to welcome you back to reality!

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 11:47 3

17. darkkjedii (Posts: 12363; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


LMAOOOOO, not the iPhone, the iHater SMDH. Pointless SMDH.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 12:21 4

27. RoundhouseMcGee (Posts: 188; Member since: 25 May 2014)


How about a serious answer then. "Stop buying them" is not a solution. When Ford had the problem with the brake reservoir leaking onto a hot wire and causing the vehicles to catch fire (the Explorers IIRC) their response wasn't "derp derp stop buying them", they fixed the problem.
Continuing to sell a product they KNOW can be fatal if not used with " official" equipment is negligent, immoral, and criminal.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 12:24 1

30. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3182; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


I like to call Ford Explorers "Ford Exploders"

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 12:25 1

31. Ninetysix (Posts: 1669; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Found
On
Road
Dead

Fix
Or
Repair
Daily

etc

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 15:37

84. PBXtech (Posts: 980; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


First
On
Race
Day

Goes both ways.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 14:48

76. darkkjedii (Posts: 12363; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Ford rebuilt their brand, their new lineup is highly rated now.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 17:19 2

113. DAMONORIBELLO (Posts: 95; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


Highly recommended by who? JD Power and Associates? Yea, they're not a company that gets paid off. Just sayin

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 12:32 5

38. Vexify (banned) (Posts: 570; Member since: 16 Jun 2014)


When you buy a car that requires premium gas, you don't put regular into the tank. Enough said.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 12:38

41. darkkjedii (Posts: 12363; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Well said man. +1

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 12:47 3

44. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3182; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Luckily in Europe we have high quality petrol. North American "premium" is still worse than European "regular"

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 13:08 6

54. Penny (Posts: 1243; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


Hmm, I didn't know electricity came in premium and regular. Also, cars that take premium fuel are designed to take regular in a pinch. They're not intentionally designed to reject regular gas and potentially explode.

All the excuses in the world can be made, but it is pretty cut and dry that the only reason Apple uses a proprietary charging standard is for money. Nothing like selling more proprietary accessories and further ensuring your customer is stuck in your world.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 13:22 2

63. RoundhouseMcGee (Posts: 188; Member since: 25 May 2014)


Yup. Who gives a s*** if a few people die, right? They sold a few more OFFICIAL apple chargers and the dead weren't even Americans anyway, right Tim?
Disgusting.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 13:11 4

55. tedkord (Posts: 5107; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


But if you did it wouldn't explode.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 12:32 5

39. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 1260; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)


It is not an Apple problem, so what would they change? If you bought cheap tires for a Ferrari, and suffered a blowout after a mile, would you call Italy to rage at Ferrari?

If you have nothing better to do than spam every Apple article with ignorant hate, might I suggest a hobby, apropos to your mental faculty, like competitive Shoots and Ladders or collecting marbles?

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 12:50 3

47. RoundhouseMcGee (Posts: 188; Member since: 25 May 2014)


My analogy wasn't the best, I'll admit, but to my credit I literally cannot think of another company that is doing what apple is by knowingly selling a dangerous product and literally blaming the victim.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 13:13 2

56. DillWeed (Posts: 81; Member since: 14 Mar 2014)


But the thing is is that regular USB cables can't have this defect. It's Apple who wanted to make it hard to hack and it's screwing the users who believe that if something is on the store then it won't kill you. Of course the chargers should not be sold at all.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 14:49

77. darkkjedii (Posts: 12363; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Post of the day bro, kudos to you sir. +1

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 15:43 3

88. PBXtech (Posts: 980; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


How is this not an Apple problem? The iPhone is the only phone made that has this problem, and can only be avoided by purchasing yet another product from Apple. No other phone I've ever heard of has this issue.

And yet another automotive analogy that means nothing. What if you purchased a top brand and have a blow out? The issue with that is the tire, not the car. The issue with the charger is the iPhone.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 15:56 3

91. RoundhouseMcGee (Posts: 188; Member since: 25 May 2014)


They don't get it. They are so blinded by their ravenous loyalty to apple that something as simple as your point (and everyone else who has a brain and has been saying the exact same thing for hours) will always be interpreted by them as "duh u r gelus of apple bcuz they have money! You secretly love apple!"
They absolutely redefine the word "ignorant".

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 16:21 1

97. Ninetysix (Posts: 1669; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Except he doesn't have a point. You can use any lighting cable and be fine as long as it's certified. It doesn't have to come from Apple broseph.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 16:14 1

94. Ninetysix (Posts: 1669; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Oh look, it only took me a few seconds to find some "certified" lighting cables that's not from Apple. Go ahead and knock yourself out.

http://tinyurl.com/nqc56xa

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 16:15

95. darkkjedii (Posts: 12363; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Oopsieeeeee
https://www.google.com/search?q=samsung+galaxy+fire+issues&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 16:34 2

101. RoundhouseMcGee (Posts: 188; Member since: 25 May 2014)


Rumors, speculation, and allegations that never turned up any evidence that Samsung knowingly sold a defective and dangerous product and blamed the victims.
Seriously, are you learning disabled? That is a legit question, I'm not trying to be mean, but at this point that is the only conclusion. Because you clearly did not even read your own link.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 12:45 2

43. darkkjedii (Posts: 12363; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Dude, if you have so much of an issue with Apple, and they are so horrible, and disgusting to you, handle it. All you do is sit on PA, and who knows how many other site b***hing about Apple. I'm not joking now dude, I'm being serious and not trying to insult you, but we don't really care. Telling us about Your issues with Apple really is pointless man, we can't do crap about it. You need to take a drive, or flight to Cupertino, and deal directly with Cook & Co. You're starting to sound like FinalFlash, just spewing hot air, while Apple continue to surge forward raking in billions. Honestly, you sound jealous, bitter, and hateful of their success. Like I said, all jokes and insults aside, man you need to log off and deal with them. Those of us who like Apple, are still gonna buy Apple regardless of your rants. Those of us who hate Apple, weren't gonna buy Apple any way. In response to post 27, this is a serious answer dude. Once again, pointless.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 13:00 4

53. RoundhouseMcGee (Posts: 188; Member since: 25 May 2014)


I've already dealt with it. I don't buy their outdated dangerous novelty toys. Seems like a much more reasonable response than wasting time and $$$ having a sit down with Cook. Oh, and I can't afford it. Doesn't he charge like a half million for a cup of coffee?
What a pointless post. Your suggestion is literally the dumbest thing I've heard all day. But it's only noon, you have all day to top that.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 15:01 1

80. darkkjedii (Posts: 12363; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


As I said dude, you're pointless. You're here simply to argue, and try your best to one up people. It doesn't change the fact that you're a waste of time, both ours and yours. You called my post dumb...fine. I call your ranting pointless. Now babble on whiner, we eagerly await another episode of the new hit series "RondhouseMcGee loves Apple".

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 16:21 1

98. RoundhouseMcGee (Posts: 188; Member since: 25 May 2014)


Actually I don't try to one up, I succeed. I can make my point and back up my position with facts. Whereas you act like a beast and threaten to fight/rob people and resort to childish insults. So yeah, I'd say you've been thoroughly one upped.
Also I don't know if you realize this or not, but the purpose of the comments section is to -say it with me- DISCUSS THINGS. Shocking, right (pun intended), not mindlessly cheerlead. I thought you would know that since, in your own words, phone arena is "hardcore".

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 16:48 2

104. ecmedic4 (Posts: 202; Member since: 02 May 2013)


No its negligent, immoral, and criminal for these makers of the 3rd party chargers to keep making them when they know full and well that they are not compatible with the iPhone an can cause damage to the phone and even be dangerous, but alas the only thing the makers of the worthless 3rd party chargers are concerned about is making a buck. At least Apple has attempted to educate ppl and even exchanged the bad chargers for free. Apple products aren't the only products that the manufacturer recommends OEM parts used, most manufacturers do and if i remember correctly, most if not all the major OEMS even state that in their product manuals and information booklets. They even state that non approved 3rd party accessories that damage your product are not covered by warranty. Why don't you stop being a lil troll and immature hater and grow up. Apple obviously can't STOP the 3rd party chargers from being made. Maybe the government of China, the place these cheap, dangerous chargers are being made should put a stop to it. Also I've read articles about products from other manufacturers catching fire, batteries failing and exploding, etc. Guess they shouldnt continue to sell their products either. Why don't you stop hating and actually suggest a real solution, or don't comment at all.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 17:25 1

116. RoundhouseMcGee (Posts: 188; Member since: 25 May 2014)


Great post. Now explain why these very same 3rd party manufacturers are able to make cables for non apple products that do NOT cause them to start fires and/or electrocute people.
I'll wait.

posted on 23 Jun 2014, 01:35

148. ecmedic4 (Posts: 202; Member since: 02 May 2013)


Actually if i remember correctly, there has been other phones catch fire while being charged and cheap 3rd party chargers were blamed in those cases as well, as usually they don't have safety features built in to protect against overload or surges. My point still stands and is still valid, the ppl making the cheap knock off dangerous chargers should stop making them. Given your ridiculous, immature, troll comments, no matter what i say your still gonna post your immature, ridiculous, troll comments as your doing nothing but hating on Apple, and doing it purposefully. Its the entire reason you are on this site prob. If you have such a hate for Apple, then don't bother clicking Apple related articles if all your gonna do is troll and make stuff up. Especially your conspiracy about Apple purposely rigging their phones to make non certified chargers catch fire or shock ppl. I would SO love for you to provide some evidence of that nonsense. As i said I've flagged you and I plan to contact phone arena directly about your trolling.

posted on 23 Jun 2014, 04:47

151. iushnt (Posts: 728; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)


Haha Jedi, it does sound like u mean to say don't buy iPhone at all. Atfirst even I understood that way. Its just your nickname that made me clear what u meant.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 12:26 5

32. xche78x (Posts: 101; Member since: 11 Mar 2014)


Agreed, lets all stop buying iphones, thanks for the heads up PA. Apple will be so proud of this article.... It can save LIVES!

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 14:08 1

72. Blaze.Infernus (Posts: 16; Member since: 01 May 2014)


Holy crap! The same principle applies to any piece of electronics! It's not the iPhone's fault.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 14:54 2

78. flipjzn (Posts: 184; Member since: 22 Jun 2012)


Buying and iPhone is a waste of money, so they say.
Be prepared to waste more to get just the authentic or certified whatever term for accessories to use.
U know beforehand, its all about the money with Apple.
If you cant waste more money or don't have money to waste, get a phone that allows you to buy cheap, knock off accessories like Android and windows phones,
Done deal.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 16:58

107. ecmedic4 (Posts: 202; Member since: 02 May 2013)


Its all about the money with any and every big company...if it wasn't, they wouldn't be in business long. Show me a very large company that isn't out to make money, or is a non for profit company. Also, all the major manufacturers even state in their product manuals and warranty booklets that only use of OEM or OEM approved accessories is recommended and that non approved 3rd party accessories that damage your product are not covered by the warranty. Its no different than having to buy a part for your vehicle, you have to buy the part that is specifically for your vehicle. Different vehicle manufacturers parts aren't universal. A lot of major appliances are the same way, the parts are specific to that model or manufacturer, so that they can charge you more. As i said in a comment above, the makers of these 3rd party chargers should stop making them, or make them safer. To me, the fact they continue to make them knowing what they can cause is wrong. Or the Chinese government should regulate them better, since most of them are made in China.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 23:24 1

146. digicon (Posts: 121; Member since: 11 Aug 2011)


Man . . . Those are just Scare Tactics to keep you buying Official iPhone/Apple Crap . . . Don't be fooled by PA ! . .

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 10:42 12

2. PowTheBowl (Posts: 83; Member since: 19 Apr 2012)


Third party chargers aren't much of a problem with other manufacturers... Except Apple of course.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 12:47 4

45. lolatfailphones (Posts: 153; Member since: 08 Apr 2013)


I used a 3rd part charger on my s3 and it charged it pretty slow and the battery life of the phone was getting worse charging it with that said 3rd party charger each day. You people just love to bash Apple at whatever they do. PLEASE BE REMINDED THAT AN S3 EXPLODED IN A GUYS POCKET DUE TO 3RD PARTY BATTERY EXTENDER. So you were saying?

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 13:14 3

57. Penny (Posts: 1243; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


There are not a lot of things I bash Apple about on this site, but the proprietary charger irritates me to no end.

Regarding your Samsung's charger, I've got two pieces of advice for you: match the amperage of Samsung's original charger (not hard to do), and don't buy cheap crap. Cheap crap tends to be cheap crap.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 16:42 1

102. lolatfailphones (Posts: 153; Member since: 08 Apr 2013)


That's the same issue that we are having with people buying fake lightening cables! Do not buy cheap crap! Basically an iPhone isn't for cheapskates, if you rather be shocked to death before you just buy or trade in your crappy fake charger then do not buy an iPhone. YOU HEAR THAT PEOPLE?! STICK TO YOUR S*** ANDROID. Put in your little extended battery pack and be blown away by the battery life(pun intended).

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 13:30 1

66. RoundhouseMcGee (Posts: 188; Member since: 25 May 2014)


We were talking about how apple products are the only ones that kill/injury people when used with third party accessories. Had nothing to do with batteries, so why would you bring that up?
But to address your attempt at having a point, every manufacturer in the world who's products use rechargeable batteries will tell you ONLY use the OEM. That is common knowledge. Additionally, a cell battery is a bit more complex than, say, a wire. Duh.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 16:48 2

105. lolatfailphones (Posts: 153; Member since: 08 Apr 2013)


You're talking about how apple injure and harm customers but you don't wanna talk how android OEMs injure and harm their customers...got it!

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 16:55

106. RoundhouseMcGee (Posts: 188; Member since: 25 May 2014)


Right, because they don't, as stated numerous times. Prove me wrong. Show me ONE instance where an aftermarket cable caused an android to electrocute somebody. I'll wait.
Reading comprehension is your friend, you should try it sometime.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 17:07 2

110. lolatfailphones (Posts: 153; Member since: 08 Apr 2013)


The point is after market products. We are talking about after market products. A battery pack that the guy bought was one. They are tons on eBay for like $4. If apple products don't accept a a fake charger because of how they built it it's the same way Samsung can't phones swell up when you use after market batteries because their products don't accept it! You need to learn how to read

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 17:29 1

118. RoundhouseMcGee (Posts: 188; Member since: 25 May 2014)


Fascinating. Again, the discussion is about 3rd party cables killing apple users. Again, nobody here can provide ANY evidence that the same is true for Androids using a THISE VERY SAME MANUFACTURERS CABLES.
Again, this is not about batteries and it is common knowledge that using aftermarket batteries is a bad idea.
Again, batteries are more complex than a simple length of cable.
Again, you fail at reading comprehension.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 21:10 1

141. darkkjedii (Posts: 12363; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Dude you should log off, everyone's taking turns tearing your comments apart.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 21:42

144. RoundhouseMcGee (Posts: 188; Member since: 25 May 2014)


Talking about batteries, accusing me of jealousy, and mentioning how rich they are is far from " tearing my argument apart".

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 17:08 2

111. ecmedic4 (Posts: 202; Member since: 02 May 2013)


What is the difference between Apple telling ppl to use OEM chargers or approved chargers and manufacturers telling ppl to use only OEM batteries? NOTHING. Its the same concept, both are using a 3rd party product that is not made to a quality standard to be safe. I have seen you post, and your only out to bash on Apple and hate on Apple, so your comments are worthless. ALL major manufacturers tell you to only use OEM accessories, or APPROVED 3rd party accessories, even telling you that if non approved accessories damage your product, it won't be covered under warranty. This is no different than what Apple does. Apple is not the only manufacturer in the world to have proprietary parts. Ive seen tablets from samsung use a proprietary charging cable, as well as Microsoft, and I'm sure both recommend using only OEM made chargers or approved 3rd party ones. Stop trying to make it seem as if Apple is the only one to use proprietary parts. Or in other words, stop your immature hating of one company.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 17:42

123. lolatfailphones (Posts: 153; Member since: 08 Apr 2013)


+1000000000000000000000000

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 16:45

103. amiaq (Posts: 495; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)


That's because of low charger amp, and battery life deteriorate with time.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 20:44 1

138. joey_sfb (Posts: 3111; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Why some iPhone user can be cheap. Just buy original iPhone accessories.

I also buy original Samsung battery only as spare.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 17:20 1

114. nasznjoka (Posts: 351; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)


hahah you made my day PowTheBowl! After all I thought guys who purchase apple products are so welloff that they can not bother purchase a $hitty chinese accessory. Turn out to be a falacy.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 19:09 1

133. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6675; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Apple only want to MAXIMIZE their profits for buying their BRANDED CABLE.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 10:44 2

3. darkskoliro (Posts: 995; Member since: 07 May 2012)


So why is something like charging suddenly complicated? Been using 3rd party cables all my life and still haven't seen a single problem yet. Yes ive said this before in a past article on Apple chargers, but I actually want to know why.

posted on 22 Jun 2014, 10:45 1

4. tasior (Posts: 248; Member since: 04 Nov 2012)


There are thousands of cheap microUSB chargers. Does the problem apply to them too?

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