If I use a generic/aftermarket iPhone USB cable instead of the official Apple product, can it damage the iPhone? A vendor at the mall said that high quality iPhone USB cables have a chip that regulates the charging current so it won't damage the device. He said the cheaper cables don't have that capability. Doesn't sound very credible, so I wanted to double check.

9 Answers 9


They are generally safe to use. And they don't have a chip (at least the ones I've used).

The charger itself may regulate the current, but the cable itself doesn't. I've used a multitude of cables from a multitude of vendors over the years and I've never had a problem with damaging devices. Build quality is a different matter. Too cheap, and the cables inside can break. Rare but does/can happen.


the vendor is trying to upsell you to the expensive brand

as Rob says above the charger may make some difference (unlikely) but the cable wont

there absolutely is no "chip" in a 30pin apple ipod cable


There is no evidence that shows unofficial cables will damage your iOS devices. However, as a recommendation, choose the official cables rather than the unofficial ones, since the quality is often better with original label.


Apple's sync cables are junk, and can break "at the ankle" with less than a year of use, exposing wire, shocking you and shorting your device. Some third party cables are worse. Some are far better: I just picked up today the most awesome sync cable I've ever seen... from a BP Gas Station for $12

best sync cable evar

  • This doesn't really answer the question.
    – D.W.
    Jun 15, 2015 at 6:20

Yes and no.
If you get an apple certified charger, it will most probably only damage your battery as much as the apple charger, if not less.
However, if you want to buy those cheap or even expensive chargers from a non certified producer, there is no telling what it might do to your phone.


Hypothetically the answer is yes - but - for all practical purposes you will never have to worry. One could somehow "rig" up a malicious USB cable that did something funky - but - one you would buy from a 3rd party should never hurt your phone (although the cable might not last too long)

If its MFI Certified that means its Non-Apple but Apple approved. These cablers will be more expensive than the total knock-offs from china.


If you decide to use a third-party cable, I would recommend an Apple MFI certified cable. These will be more expensive than other non-Apple cables, but they have been approved by Apple and should not damage your device.


i bought a non apple cheap iphone 5 cable and it has damaged my battery, im losing 30% an hour when my phone is turned on aeroplane mode, i also noticed when my phone was plugged into this cable when i tryed to control my phone the whole screen would shake and crash

  • 1
    This is mostly anecdotal evidence, which is interesting, but hardly conclusive. How did you determine it was the cable that caused the problems?
    – Ian C.
    May 12, 2014 at 2:42

I vote no on the cheap cord. Went from 24hr battery life to 5. Forgot to plug it in one night bought a cheap one at the convenience store on the way to work. Charged a quarter of the way and stopped charging. Once home used apple charger ever since but battery life is terrible now. iPhone 5

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