If you thought sticking to the OEM products for any of your gadgets wasn’t really important and that the cheaper knockoffs worked the same, think again – a recent report suggests that third-party (read: cheap and uncertified) USB cables and wall chargers are the biggest reason for dead iPhone 5 smartphones.
The problem, which can manifest itself in a number of forms, including the iPhone not charging beyond 1%, powering on by itself, failing to boot altogether etc., is caused by the unauthorized cable causing damage to an integral logic board component called the U2 IC chip, which basically controls the charge to the battery, powering the sleep button and monitors the USB port. In short, it rules the charging function in an iPhone 5, and by using an alternate third-party Lightning cable, the U2 IC gets fried, resulting in the phone dying once battery reaches zero.
It appears that MendMyi discovered upon this whilst fiddling with a number of iPhone 5 devices showing the exact same symptoms, whereby the phones powered on when the battery was replaced. However, even with the new battery, if the phone was allowed to discharge fully, it refused to turn back on, which led the repair team to believe that the problem was elsewhere. Hence, they put the logic board under the microscope and found what the real culprit was. According to the firm’s understanding (and subsequent statement), third-party cables and chargers are responsible for frying the U2 IC in iPhone 5.
The firm believes that since these cables fail to regulate the charging mechanism for an iPhone, excessive voltage can result in the logic board component getting damaged.
While the lesson learnt here is simple – don’t ever use a third-party Lightning cable with an iPhone – the problem is more complicated than that. Apple sells the Lightning cables at a significantly high cost, charging $20 for something that takes roughly $3.5 to make. That automatically forces customers to look for cheaper alternatives from online retailers, resulting in potential damage to the device itself. What works better for you is your call.
It’s worth noting that MendMyi is offering repairs now for such devices with fried U2 ICs. The repair cost, however, with set you back by $112.55 plus tax, so you might still be better off buying an original cable should you need one.