iPhone 5 Charging Issues? Could Be Your Third Party Cable

If your iPhone 5 unit died and won’t come back on, or if it automatically powers itself on, and you are using a third-party cable to charge your handset, a battery replacement won’t solve your problem, because it is more serious than you thought.

UK repair company mendmyi (via iMore) has seen an influx of iPhone 5 units that had run perfectly until their battery completely drained, but after many charging attempts, users couldn’t get past 1% charge, or sometimes nothing but a blank screen.

At first glance, the guys at the repair company thought it was the battery, and they offered to replace it, but the problem persisted. That was the “yo!” moment, when they started investigating the issue and found out the damage that third-party charging cables can cause to iPhone 5 units.

As they have pointed out in a blog post, third-party chargers or USB leads do not regulate the voltage and current to a level protecting the iPhone unit, damaging the U2 IC as a result. This causes the aforementioned symptoms.

IPhone 5 U2 1

IPhone 5 U2 2

Charging your iPhone using a third party charger or USB lead that does not regulate this as much allows for larger variables in voltage and current, this then damages the U2 IC and can leave you with a seemingly dead iPhone 5.

Another common reason for this is also charging your iPhone 5 from the cigarette lighter of your car. This does not regulate the voltage as well as the original AC adapter as the power is coming from the alternator.

The U2 IC is pictured above and has the following tasks: It controls the charge to the battery, runs the power to the power/sleep button, and regulates the charging to the power IC that charges the iPhone 5.

In other words, if you want to protect your iPhone, use an original Apple-certified charger, and if you really need to charge your iPhone in your car, you should get a good-quality inverter, mendmyi recommends. By the way we have used various third party cables to charge our iPhone 5 and haven’t run into any issues, but your mileage may vary. We all take the risk when we buy third party accessories.

Technology enthusiast, rocker, biker and writer of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter or contact me via email: istvan@iphoneincanada.ca

  • Biggy604

    I know the iPhone 5 knock off noodle/flat cable I got two years ago at the Richmond Night Market messed up my battery life. Had to get a replacement Battery and just stuck to using Apple’s cables and accessories since. Funny thing was is that it never really effected the phone til Apple added more “security checks” on using official licenced products on one of their many iOS updates.

  • Am I the only one here that sees the irony of this story having at least 4 (I say at least because I have flash blocked) ads for third-party cables and chargers on the page (including Miniinthebox)?

  • Sam

    We wouldn’t need to charge our iPhone in the car if only the iPhone has a battery life that, oh I don’t know, allowed us to use it like it’s designed?! Listen to music, pick up calls, watch a few videos, browse to a few websites, have my wifi and brightness on appropriately without it dying would be a good start

  • hub2

    Not clear whether the 3rd party cables mentioned in this article are Apple-certified.

  • FragilityG4

    Imagination is fun ????

  • WatDah

    I do all of that everyday, multiple times, and my battery is just fine. Have you ever looked into shutting off system services and background processes that you don’t need? It helps. A lot.

  • einsteinbqat

    it’s non MFi 3rd party cables that are problematic. the MFi ones are ok to use.

  • Steve

    Does this only apply to the iPhone 5? What about the newer 5S or even earlier models like the 4S?

  • Anon

    Exactly. Apple certified cables should operate the same as the original apple cables, with proper voltage regulation. Otherwise, it wouldn’t it wouldn’t pass certification.

  • Anon

    They have different charging chips in the 4S and 5S. It looks like the 5 is prone to these issues with non-certified cheap China knock-off cables and adapters. MFi certified cables should be fine.

  • awkpain

    There quite a few non-certified cables of all sorts. Some even with an apple on it though the bite may be taken from the wrong side… 😉

  • Okina

    I’m wondering if any of this applies to external batteries since I have one myself. Any thoughts?

  • JoJoJumps

    Is there somewhere in the US or Canada to get the U2 IC replaced?

  • Jean-philippe Lingrand

    did you find?