Corrosion causing some Lightning cables to fail

lightning-cable-corrosion-ogrady-cnetApple’s lightning cable may be prone to corrosion that diminishes the cable’s ability to charge an iOS device. The corrosion occurs in the small gold connectors that physically plug into the lightning port on the iOS device.

This issue was noted by Jason D. O’Grady of CNET, who discovered several Apple forum reports of the same issue happening to other lightening cable owners. Some customers were able to exchange their cables at an Apple Store, while others were denied an exchange because the representative suspected water damage was the culprit.


Cable owner and Apple Discussions member “brockap3” examined his cable under a microscope and discovered that the damage is present on select pins of the cable. He proposes two scenarios that could be causing this corrosion:

  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)

Many people who have the problem report that the damage starts occurring approximately one month after they started using the cable to charge their iPhone or iPad.

Have you experienced this corrosion problem with your lightning cable? Let us know in the comments