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bmwraw8482 Level 1 Level 1

I was trying to sync/charge my iPhone 5 so the USB end went in my MacBook Pro, and the Lightning end went in the iPhone only to get the error that iTunes couldnt connect to the phone. Then the phone would beep everytime I moved it like the cord was loose or something. I pulled out the lightning plug and looked at it only to find corrosion on the 'gold' connectors.

Does anyone know, does apple actually use gold in these? (gold isnt supposed to corrode, especially after 6 days)

Solved by bmwraw8482 on Nov 23, 2012 5:16 AM Solved
After my post, apple actually called me (using my contact info from my apple ID) and offered to mail me a new cable in exchange for sending the one i mentioned back to them to look into the problem. They paid all the postage and i got a new cable. so if you're near an apple store it might be worth it to take the cable in and see if they'll exchange it.
  • stallout Level 1 Level 1

    Having the same problem here after only a month using this cable to charge my phone on my nightstand each night. Hopefully I can exchange it for a new one...

  • bmwraw8482 Level 1 Level 1

    After my post, apple actually called me (using my contact info from my apple ID) and offered to mail me a new cable in exchange for sending the one i mentioned back to them to look into the problem. They paid all the postage and i got a new cable. so if you're near an apple store it might be worth it to take the cable in and see if they'll exchange it.

  • Jim Dion Level 1 Level 1

    I just returned a month old lightening cable and was told by the store that I had exposed it to moisture! When I said that I had not, they did not belive me, but it appeard that this was not the first one of these that they saw. They told me that they woud 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.

  • charri1234 Level 1 Level 1

    I'm having the exact same problem! I've had the phone exactly 1 month when it stopped charging my phone! I was hoping to find a way to clean the corrosion off since I can't afford to spend $20 to get a new cord to charge a brand new phone!!!

  • veedow Level 1 Level 1

    Me too. I bought the Lightning to 30-pin Adapter for $29 US and there is now corrosion on both sides of the Lightning connector. When I plugin my iPhone, sometimes it charges, other times it doesn't. I've been really carefully with the adapter and it always stays in my car. Maybe the harsh winter months of Chicago are too much for these connectors? I never had this problem with the 30 pin connector. Next time I'm at an Apple Store, I'll show it to them. I hope they replace it.

  • SérgioCaldeira design Level 1 Level 1

    I have the exact same problem. I bought my iphone 5 and after 28 days it stoped charging, when i looked to the cable, the connectors were black. i cleaned the cable with some dry cloth and it started to charge but unable to connect to the computer. tried in different computers and nothing. went to operator store (TMN - Portugal), they tested it and still nothing, so they send the iphone to warranty with no scratches or signs of bad handling. 1 month later i got the response from them, and they said warranty was void because there was few traces of liquid in the charging connector indicating corrosion (wich is impossible because the phone has never been even close to water or any fluids), they also say that all the interior and exterior LCI were not activated. they want me to pay 220€ to fix it. i refuse to do so, because it´s not my fault the equipment is defective, so they send it back to the store (unrepaird). when i looked to thecnical info describing the problem, the company that made the verification is not even apple certified ( I contacted a portuguese consumer organization who recomended me to make a complaint in an official complaint form and not to recover the equipment. so I did, and now i´m waiting for answer.

  • stallout Level 1 Level 1

    Finally took mine to the Apple Store last weekend. The guy claimed that this could only result from liquid damage. I said that was impossible, that I've taken care of my device and cable, etc. So he checked the liquid indicator on my phone, found no evidence of liquid damage, and exchanged the cable for me. Hooray.

  • demerson Level 1 Level 1

    I seem to be having the same problem as well.  My wife and I have two iPhone5's and an iPad 4G, all which use the lightning connector.  For the first time this evening I went to sync her iPhone with our PC and got a 'USB Device Not Recognized' error.   After fighting it for an hour, I went and got a different USB-to-lightning connector.  It too was not super reliable at first, but after wiggling the cable a bit the iPhone made the 'I'm charging!' sound and became available in iTunes.


    On both of these cables I notice two things:  1) plugging in the lightning connector in one particular orientation it doesn't work at all.  2) the middle pins on both sides of the lightning connector have become tarnished (blackish).  Not sure if this is the cause but I can't scrape it off.


    I do have one additional connector at work that so far seems pretty reliable.  Just my $0.02.  Congrats on getting a free replacement.

  • brockap3 Level 1 Level 1

    Has anyone found any real resolution to this? I am an Electrical Engineer, so I have experience in microelectronics, but this is ridiculous. My wife's iPad mini has had this issue. I leave the lightning connector attached to a USB outlet I installed in the kitchen and we use vinegar as a cleaning product for the counter, so at first I thought that was causing the corrosion, and I just took it to the Apple store for exchange (I had already cleaned off the cable as much as possible, but one side had gone so far as to lose a pin) hoping they would replace it for the lost pin and miss the corrosion. They gave me a new cable and all was working well. Just today I went to charge my wife's iPad mini again and it had a flickering charge indicator (this really cant be good for the electronics). The same problem has occurred on my new cable. I did notice that there is a blue discoloration (kind of looks like a poorly installed car battery color) on the lightning female portion on the iPad mini itself. This is definitely corrosion, but what is the source? The only thing I can think of would be steam from use in the kitchen near the stove, but water alone and at such infrequent times should not cause this kind of corrosion. I think I might take the iPad mini to my lab microscope to see what's going on in there, but otherwise we are off to the apple store again...

  • PeterInAus Level 1 Level 1

    I've just had a look at mine under a magnifying glass, and after trying a few progressively harder objects to remove what appears to be a carbon deposit, I finally shifted the stuff with some bared copper hookup wire.
    After doing that, I noticed the remaining metal formed two peaks, roughly 1/3 and 2/3 along the contact area, and both sides were virtually identical.
    My educated guess is that the matching contact in the iPhone/iPad (iPad in my case) is not held against the cable contact with enough pressure, and they are effectively arcing, in the same way an arc welder works. If that is the case, the only real option is for the connector in the iDevice to be redesigned to exert just a little more pressure on the cable plug.

    The same thing has happened to a lightning-30 pin adapter I bought (from Apple) with the iPad4, although to a lesser extent, as it hasn't seen as much use.

    Frustrated much.

  • brockap3 Level 1 Level 1

    I think I am siding with you on this. After talking to my colleagues, I received two plausible suggestions:

    1) 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

    2) electrical arcing causing the corrosion (originally I dismissed this as it is just USB - i.e. 5 V /2 A max)

    After examining the male and female sides, it would seem both are likely culprits, but you would have to have some pretty serious condensation on the pins to get this to happen with steam. See the pictures attached (shared images on google drive). You can see in the female side that the number 4 pin is shorter than the others and blackened. In the image of the male cable you can see how the metal is actually gone from the pins, literally holes in the metal. Corrosion due to water damage and such isn't so spot specific and definitely wouldn't leave other portions of the meal untouched. Let me know your thoughts. Enjoy the Apple close-ups.



    Male top:

    Male bottom:

  • brockap3 Level 1 Level 1

    Sorry, forgot to note that the corrosion is happening mainly on the VSUB/V++/Power providing pin, and to add this link. It is an image of pinouts for the lightning connector. 38214771&ad_q

  • Alec V. Level 1 Level 1

    I'm having the same issue with a cable I've only used at the office to charge my phone from the computer. Looking at it closely the corrosion seems to be happening on 2 specific pins, which seems to validate the observation someone made about arcing.

  • Mannydog1 Level 1 Level 1

    I have the same issue with an iphone 5 bought last Nov.  One cable does not work at all, a second looks on its way, as does a 30 pin female to 8 pin male adapter I have for my car.

    Gonna take the lot of them to a Apple  sotre this weekl and see what they say.


    I did just get a couple of Amazon Basics cables, and they look sturdier in terms of the cable and its connection to the plugs, so it'll be interesting to see if they wear any better on the pins...

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