Unsurprisingly, the Lightning cable that came with my iPhone 5s ~18 months ago is really worn - to the point where all of the rubber cable has had to come off because it had been left around for a while and had gone all sticky (sooooo gross). The outer metal sheathing is still entirely intact.

The resulting cable looks like so.

It's a *little* bit worn

It still charges (and syncs) my iPhone perfectly. Is this at all dangerous to use (I'm charging my phone from my MacBook)?

Cheers, Dan

  • 4
    well, it doesn't carry dangerous voltages - but how in hell's name did you manage to get a cable in such a state in only 18 months? I've still got the 30-pin from my first ever iPhone in better condition than that, after 8 years.
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 17, 2016 at 19:40
  • I actually have no idea! I always left it by my bed to charge my phone overnight but then it "broke" (very patchy connection) so I stuck it in a drawer and left it for a few months and when I took it out it was all yellow and the casing was falling away. Apple's leads are always useless in my opinion
    – Dan Grove
    Feb 17, 2016 at 19:43
  • I have every cable from every iDevice I've ever owned, plus a bunch of spares. Not one has had that happen to it. One got slightly damaged where you have the blue tape. I fixed it with Sugru. It's still going.
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 17, 2016 at 20:16
  • My lead does still work perfectly tbf, I've had several Apple leads and none of them have worked unscathed for more than 18 months (maximum) - I'm surprised this one still works. I fear for my MagSafe charger...
    – Dan Grove
    Feb 17, 2016 at 20:18
  • 1
    Do you live somewhere with nuclear fallout… or acid rain… or the middle of a desert/ice field…? ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 17, 2016 at 20:22

2 Answers 2


Such Voltage is not 'dangerous' but you should get a new one as soon as possible. Why risk a further damage to your iPhone, your Mac or your charger?


Just underneath the plastic exterior of the cable is a conductive layer called shielding. Shielding is grounded, meaning it is connected to 0 V. It would only be dangerous if you had a serious electrical problem that caused ground in your outlet to be connected to a higher voltage potential. The actual power is transmitted on wires in the core of the cable. While the voltage at the core for iPhone charge cables is not typically dangerous, if the center of your cable becomes exposed, it's time to get a new cable.

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