We often think of third-party products as awesome additions to our Apple devices; most of the time, they are. However, some people claim that cheap, third-party lightning accessories damage devices. We agree with these reports and see a dramatically increasing number of damaged phones every week. Third-party lightning accessories have been silently damaging iPhones (and other iDevices) for quite some time. If you’re using a cable or charger that isn’t Apple certified, you are risking the longevity of your device. It may already be too late, but keep reading for more information and certified product suggestions.

mendmyi in the UK noticed they were receiving a large number of iPhones with battery issues – namely that the phone would turn off and never turn back on, even after being charged. A new battery temporarily fixed the issue. If the new battery ever died completely, it would never come back to life. They wanted to figure out the source of the issue, so they dug deeper into the electrical components and found that third-party lightning accessories damage devices.

How cheap, third-party lightning accessories damage devices

Ultimately, the problem originates from the power management “integrated circuit” chip in your iPhone. This chip regulates the voltage when you charge your phone. If you use a third-party lightning cable that is not “made for iPhone” (MFi), the power to your phone is inconsistent at best. The chargers and USB cables that Apple certifies properly regulate the voltage so your phone will not receive too much or too little current at any given time. Cheap, third-party cables and chargers don’t typically regulate the voltage. By using uncertified accessories, you may end up with a permanently damaged device that a battery replacement will not fix.

MFi

To prevent damaged chips and other internal components, Apple created their MFi (made for iPhone/iPod/iPad) program. Apple inspects and certifies cables and chargers to make sure they match the required voltage and current. If you buy third-party products, always look for the MFi logo. This will ensure safe operation and keep your device in good condition without shortening its life. We realize that this a bold statement: cheap, third-party lightning accessories damage devices… but if it doesn’t say MFi like the picture above, it will absolutely harm your device.

MFi Accessory Recommendations

We like to use third-party cables because Apple doesn’t offer the various lengths that we find useful. You may need a shorter cable to use in your car or a longer cable to charge your phone next to your bed. If you find yourself with similar desires, here are some MFi cables we recommend:

  • 1.5 feet – we use this shorter cable in our cars because we don’t need/want a longer cable.
  • 3 feet – we use this standard length cable wherever we don’t need a specific solution.
  • 6 feet – we use this by our nightstands so we can use our iPhones while they’re plugged into the wall.

If you have other MFi accessories that you’d recommend, please leave them in the comments so we can check them out. Please remember that cheap, third-party lightning accessories damage devices; if it doesn’t say MFi, don’t buy it!