My iPhone cable is the only one that can recharge my iPhone 5. I have tested around 5 other iPhone 5/6 cables and none of them work. I am apprehensive of either losing my cable or breaking it.

The cable also doesn't always recharge everyone else's iPhone. But when it does, it's because it has been plugged using the "right" side as only one side works. That behavior applies to my iPhone as well.

Right now my survivor cable has the same value as my phone. One can't go without the other. This is both magic and exasperating.

I'm curious to know what could be the reason behind that behavior? Would you have any idea how I could fix this or find another way of recharging my phone without replacing my phone dock's connector?

I'm ready to acquire another cable and make experiences on it.

  • 1
    How many of those cables came from Apple? 3rd party cables are renowned for being flaky.
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 7, 2015 at 9:47
  • I am pretty sure that two or three of them came from Apple. Feb 7, 2015 at 9:51
  • so it is your iPhone plug that is a problem, not the cable
    – Ruskes
    Feb 7, 2015 at 10:05
  • Definitely... Still one cable works, which lets me hope that there is a chance of not replacing the dock's connector. Feb 7, 2015 at 10:14
  • I had a cable (actually for an iPad mini) which only charged reliably when plugged in one way up. It was replaced by the Apple store, and the new cable works OK.
    – Milliways
    Feb 7, 2015 at 12:12

4 Answers 4


Although it was not exactly the same symptoms, I had many connection problems with my iPhone 5S at some point. I could use only some cables, and only in some positions. It turned out that the connector had gathered a large amount of dust (likely gathered in my pocket) that was "compressed" down the socket by plugging the cable. At some point, the thickness of this dust made it impossible to have a proper connection. This is hardly visible with the naked eye, but I eventually discovered it by looking at the connector with a light and a loupe. I then took away the dust using a sharp pin and the iPhone worked again perfectly.


I just went to the Genius bar for the same problem because my "special" cord had just broke. They told me that they didnt know what had happened to my iPhone 5s and that the only option i had to fix it was to upgrade. They said that when they plugged it into their device that tells them how much of a charge my phone is it was flat lined, meaning it wasn't charging at all. I reset my features and borrowed one of their chargers and it started charging. He took my Phone back to see what it was reading, and one cord was charging it however another cord that was exactly the same was not. This even shocked the employee... he said he couldnt even sell me the one he had because it "was his". :\ I don't know what was exactly wrong and I don't think they know either

  • Looking back is very expensive - how could they know how one phone became broken. Think of an airline crash where you ask someone to recreate what happened. It takes months and hundreds of people working together. When you are in for a repair - focus on what options you have to repair - that's usually quick and easy. The part is in warranty or out. The repair will cost X or Y. A new device costs Z. Usually when you are recommended to upgrade it's that you get a better phone for equal or less money.
    – bmike
    Aug 28, 2016 at 16:19

This has been happening to me for over a year.. I wrapped my special cord in electric tape because it was falling apart. I have no idea why that's the only cord that will charge my phone. We have 4 extra lightning cables from apple and none of them work with my phone but they all work perfectly with my husband's. My special cable can charge his phone as well.

I get the message "This cable is not certified and might not reliably" when I plug in an actual apple lightning cable!


There are 8 pins on each side of the lightning connector and a microprocessor inside the connector.

The device you plug in to (iPhone in this case) also has a microprocessor to determine if 8 or 16 pins should be active, negotiate what charging and data exchange will happen.

It's not a simple 4 wire connector that either makes a connection or doesn't make a connection.

If one phone doesn't work with an assortment of cables that work with another similar phone - then you could conclude a cleaning or repair of the phone is needed. Whether the socket was bent to just the right angle to work with your bent lightning cable or if it's another oddity - repair might be the best option if you have some cables that work and some that don't.

The pins can be corroded, bent, broken - just like any small connector - so getting someone with the proper tools to test and inspect both connectors is needed when a simple exchange of cables doesn't work.

You are right to ask for options other than repair, but in honesty - you should get a quote for an upgrade to a new phone and a quote for repair since they are probably the best way forward once your phone won't work with most undamaged cables you try.

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