If your iPhone 5 isn't charging anymore, it could be that third party cable you're using

Have an iPhone 5 that won't seem to charge past 1% or boot up at all anymore after the battery was completely depleted? It seems that you aren't alone. According to UK repair company mendmyi, who has seen an influx of iPhone 5's with this particular issue, the problem is a prime example of why you shouldn't use cheap cables to charge your iPhone.

While we all hear the warnings about using cheap chargers and USB cables, we all know that not everyone will listen. In this particular case, cheap chargers and cables are damaging the U2 IC chip that sits on the logic board of the iPhone 5. This particular chip controls the charge to the battery, the sleep/wake button, and certain USB functions. A damaged U2 IC chip ends up causing the iPhone 5 to not turn back on once it's depleted. A replacement battery brings the iPhone 5 back to life, but once that battery depleted, you'll be stuck in the same position again.

Owner of mendmyi, Riki Baker, has this to say about what is causing the issue -

Charging your iPhone using a third party charger or USB lead that does not regulate well 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 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. If you need to charge our iPhone or any electrical equipment in your car, we would recommend a good quality inverter with your original charger and USB lead.

If you have an iPhone 5 that seems to be dead or won't charge past 1% and you're using a charger that isn't from Apple or certified by them, this is most likely your problem. mendmyi is currently offering repairs to fix the U2 IC chip but if you aren't within the UK, you can check with other local repair companies or an Apple Store to see what your options are.

Hit the link below to read mendmyi's explanation of the problem as well as detailed photos showing a working U2 IC chip and a damaged one.

Source: mendmyi

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.

  • This is the main reason I pay the extra cash for a boxed cable or replacement charger. There are some really good fakes out there and it's just not worth the risk. Thankfully my lighting cable has held up well ever since I got my iPhone 5. But seeing many REALLY good KIRF's on Craigslist and other online venues. If the price is too good, it's most likely bad. Especially with a market for retail packaging. Apple isn't alone though as Samsung has it's fair share of KIRF's. Especially headphones and USB/power cords and chargers that will destroy your device. When in doubt after a close look, it's always best to shop retail than having to replace a dead iPhone or what device you may have.
  • For me it was why I personally got rid of my iPhones and iPads etc.
    No other device has this problem.
    I think Apple designed it in......
    I manage a fleet of 70 devices at work of those 4 are iPhones 3 are iPads, only iStuff has this problem. NONE of the other devices get damaged due to car chargers or anything remotely like that. Actually the only power problems are iStuff......
  • Replying to a six month old comment... Really? 0.o I have a pile of broken devices that use micro USB connector cables and broken cables themselves. It's not the products fault. It's the user that cares little about a company provided device in general. Please leave the one sided arguments or replies on something relevant and possibly a lot more recent than a six month old topic. That only shows you're reaching for something that's not cared for. Especially when reviving a six month old thread just to suit your needs. Don't bother replying as I already know your angle and what you're trying to achieve here.
  • lol @ it's the users fault. you're absurd and clearly know nothing of product design or engineering
  • clearly you have not a clue on how many years I've spent in IT and my later career. It's amazing how many people can damage equipment from phones to laptops and I've seen some of the most common to the outright bizarre. It is your own ignorance that boggles the mind. Combing a six month old topic to begin with and never considering the human factor of how products of all kinds end up needing repair or replacement. It is your own shortsightedness that shows me two things. One, being completely insecure that you decide to comment on a topic that's now seven months old and your lack of common sense. You only fall back telling me I know nothing of product design and engineering when you have no damn idea who I am or what I do for a living. Tell me, if you think I know nothing, who are you to judge when you haven't gone into any detail to back up what you claim. Part of basic engineering is designing a device that not only can handle the "human factor" when building a mobile phone and the chipset within it. Furthermore in R&D a device has to have balance internally from how fast the CPU on a device runs for certain tasks. Surely you don't need the full speed of the CPU for a simple phone call otherwise a device could run so hot and kill it's own battery in minutes. A typical product no matter what has concerns of the "Human Factor" that dictates what limits to be set. Not only for expected usability and battery life but also responsive enough not to feel "sluggish" as that would be distracting to the user. There is a huge amount of research and product development done before you see a final shipping product that meets the demands of the client (mobile carriers) but also for the end user who buys the product. I certainly hope you don't plan on UI design let alone the actual components that make it into a mobile phone. That's only a small part of what I do. I don't see you adding anything to the conversation other than your own insecurities about yourself and really getting nowhere in the process of providing a single counterpoint. Only ignorance. So if you want to say anything constructive without resorting to insults, you're welcome to try and make a fool of yourself once again. For my amusement, please by all means share your wealth of knowledge. I imagine it might be watching the grill at a fast food chain somewhere. Keep hugging that Android as tight as you can and please, for your own sake, go find a dollar and buy a clue...
  • Any device made for consumers should be made a lot better than to fail because of a non genuine cable or charger as you can now buy so many different Power packs to charge your device on the run as far as you are concerned that should then be ok for the Apple to die as it's not a genuine piece of kit. I never noticed this problem on the 4's or lower so seems they changed something in the 5 and up as they seem to be a lot less rugged, screens seem about as cheap as normal as they break so quickly even from small drops. I bought mobiles for my Grand Children and only one had to have an Apple and guess what ? out of the 3 and the Apple Grand Child is the oldest the only one I have had to fix was the apple and I can guarantee she looks after her items very well. The Android mobiles I have repaired were all from being left on the roof of the car or on the dashboard and then coming into contact with the road or concrete at speeds so for them not to break would be very unexpected as well as a few that were driven over or stepped on. The amount of times I have used different chargers and cables on my devices Tablets and Mobiles and most of the time they have been OEM cables and chargers as they are far more wallet friendly and I can honestly say not once have I ever come across one that has needed a chip from using an incorrect charger. I can see from your conversation you have a very high opinion of yourself and put down any one for not agreeing with you or being a fanboy for Apple. I am very unbiased as far as devices go and buy anything that does what I want it to do for myself or my family and if I see problems from devices I have to repair more than other brands then I stay away. Every company will have problems now and again from parts supplied by other companies and then fix those as they come to light and is why you see different versions of the same model as time goes by, If you make a device for the general public then it has to be able to stand up to general use and you are not always in a situation where you are at home with your original charger and cable and need your device charged and to say it's ok for said device to die because of that is pure and utter rubbish.
  • "clearly you have not a clue on how many years I've spent in IT and my later career." Of course they don't - you are a random on a forum. What do you know of me? Nothing I expect. Your arguments are quite ad hominem, and form zero basis on any actual sound logic or reason. You open with insults and personal attacks, and end with "So if you want to say anything constructive without resorting to insults" Hypocrisy, thy name is you sir.
  • "Please leave more than the one sided argument..." and
    "Don't bother replying as I already know your angle and what you're trying to achieve here." Spoken like a true person who refuses to listen to reasoned debate, and has already made up his mind regardless of evidence presented to him. The age of the comment is also irrelevant, as the technology and practices still exist - thus the comments are relative.
  • What about certified lightning products with Apple's stamp of approval on the box?
  • I would think those would be ok. I think most of the stuff causing this are the $3 cables you find sitting on drug store counters or in sketchy used phone places.
  • Sister has gone through two official lightning cables already, so it doesn't seem to be limited to third party cables. Sent from my Galaxy S4 running SlimKat 4.4.2
  • Why is the i5 only mentioned does this effect the i5s as well??? I use a car and aftermarket charger all the time on my 5s Sent from the iMore App
  • The problems mendmyi was seeing specifically related to the iPhone 5 but using certified or OEM chargers for any iPhone is of course best practice.
  • What about MFi equipment? I have an MFi car charger that I use all the time. Will I be in for trouble? (Note this charger has never given me the "non-compatible accessory" warning in iOS 7.)
  • If it's part of the made for iPhone program you should be fine. It means it has been certified. I'll change the wording a bit to reflect that.
  • I had issues with my iPhone 5 not charging, some cables would work and some wouldn't. It ended up being pocket lint had gotten in the charging port and the cables wouldn't get good contact. It took me a few weeks to figure it out, so you may check that out too if you have charging issues.
  • Same in music. Cheap mic, guitar, and patch cables are not worth it. Save to get good cables. It will save you problems in the long run, and are worth the extra cost. Sent from the iMore App
  • Another issue you may face when using "cheap" chargers is irreversible battery damage. Sure, the packaging might read "2.1A" but if the charger isn't made by a reputable company or isn't a product carried by a trusted retailer (the Apple Store, Carriers, Radio Shack) you are definitely running the risk of damaging your investment with an inferior item.
  • I feel compelled to chime in. Our household has owned at least 2 of each iPhone and iPad iteration since it was launched in Canada. The Apple branded Lightning cables are by far the worst ones I have seen over the years. We are going through them at an alarming rate - and it's not like we are any rougher on them than the 30-pin dock connector type. Saying that third party cables aren't getting the job done is a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black.
  • I never said third party, I said non-certified. Please read. Knockoff cables are the problem. I use Auvio braided cables from Radio Shack. They aren't cheap and hold up forever. And they're long. Give those a try. Sent from the iMore App
  • Your headline: "If your iPhone 5 isn't charging anymore, it could be that third party cable you're using" Please read.
  • It's a headline, read past it. Yes, a lot of third party chargers and cables will do this. Will all of them, no.
  • i don't have a 5 but i've had third party cables and cradles and they all charge fine. My 4s cable however frayed and was crap. now one of my old ipod cables that's thicker still works and hasn't disentigrated but the 4s one: crap. I do know of an issue with some third party chargers running hot and being potential fire hazards but i'm not sure about the other issues.
  • I always use the veho pebble power bank with the apple lightning connector. Is it just ok? Sent from the iMore App
  • I tend to agree with Plasmanut, though the Apple cables are better than some of the crappy cheap cables out there as far as quality is concerned. I personally use an MFi cable from iHome that is a great cable and it is 5' not 3.5. I have never seen a MFi USB cigarette lighter device, though I did buy a name brand one.
  • I always buy extended cables from companies like Belkin and Griffin. Worth the price to know that the quality in them won't damage my devices.
  • I got 2, 10' cables off a website for $8 each. They said they would work with ios7. They did for a few months and now are intermittent. It is just the cables. I still use Apple's chargers. Do you think they are safe? I use them both on iphone 5's. However 1 is on ios 6 and 1 on ios7. Same issue with both. Next, i had a belkin usb charger for my car, i plugged my lightning cable in it and it blew the fuse. I tossed it, as it only cost $5. Then i got a dual usb griffin car charger, i left it plugged in at all times, after 2 weeks it burnt up and melted, had to pry it out of the socket. I now use a more expensive car usb charger its been working fine, i just forget the name of it. Sent from the iMore App
  • i use mophie spacepack (apple certified) on a jailbroken device 7.0.6..im not sure if its one of the tweaks (havent installed one recently) or the spacepack, but my 5S started to drain faster than when i wasnt using the spacepack...or so i think. the irony here may be that im using it a lot more knowing i have extra battery back up.
  • Is it better to use the 5 watt cube charger that comes with the iPhone instead of the 10 watt charger that comes with the iPad? The 10 watt charger seems to charge a lot faster. Sent from the iMore App
  • I've seen many people come in with issues after using an unapproved aftermarket charger. We sell them at the store I work for but I absolutely refuse to sell them! These are not generic ports we are dealing with, so why are we risking the use of a generic charger? You might save a few dollars today but what's the real cost of it in the future?
  • is this a 100% safe and guaranteed repair?
  • Hello my phone doesnt change anymore i dont have any generic charger to try it yet and ive only gone to one third party cable something like that and it's not charged for one week now so it's prolly drained now. I'm going to buy the authentic one, does that mean phones that have this issue are already damaged???? My phone's working very well and I don't try to charge it more than twice a day unlike others, it is just that the third party cable I'm using now is now broken.
  • If You are living in south florida and you not able to follow the steps of the repair visit: www.officialrepairguys.com we are specialize in iphone repairs.
  • I bought what is apparently an unlicensed 5c charger from Bed Bath & Beyond while my Apple charger was missing. It turned up later thankfully. My hope was to use one by my bed side for charging and one while at work for syncing and programming. After the latest (second latest?) iOS update, the Bed Bath charger - which I bought with real money from a brick & mortar establishment - just plain does not work. Neither Xcode nor iTunes recognizes it: "This cable or accessory is not certified and may not work reliably with this iPhone." The product that I bought - specifically to continue using the other product that I bought, and the other services that I paid for such as the Apple Developer License - is now nullified.
  • It's one thing if a cable failed from the start. However this has the same feel as printer companies chipping their ink cart's to prevent people from buying 3rd party. Maybe part of this is apple protecting the phone and I'll wager another part is them protecting their bottom line. I just had a $100 ProClip car mount with a built in certified cable suddenly become incompatible after working fine for two years.
  • I have been using aftermarket charging cables and they did stop working. I have had IOS 7 for a long while with the cables working. After I shut down the Background App Refresh they began working again. Appologies if anyone posted this already. All About the $$$$
  • If your iPhone 5 isn't charging anymore!
    90 Day Warranty, Free Diagnostic. iPad's Repaired In Minutes!
    8353 Pines Blvd Pembroke Pines FL 33024 - (954) 505-746-
  • Follow me on Instagram @fnlhd