back to article Dev's iPhone cable melts after iOS 5 upgrade

An iDevice software developer has claimed his iPhone 4's USB cable "caught fire" after he installed iOS 5 on the device. Florida-based coder Gus Pinto, whose Twitter profile has his occupation as "pioneering Mac desktop virtualisation", Tweeted today: "My charging cable caught on fire while charging my iPhone 4 running iOS5." …

COMMENTS

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Gimp

Current limiter?

Electrical Engineers on stand-by, please advise: how to build a device with thermal and over-current surge protection to be connected to this cable. Apparently Apple was not able to do it.

I know my UPS has a current limiter when charging my 45Ah battery set... I know my processor has a thermal protection instruction...

And it's not the first time El Reg brings us this sort of scorching news.

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Mushroom

Cheap cable carrying high current...

In my experience, Apple's cables are junk - I've had one DC-cable melt-down on a laptop PSU, one near-miss on another laptop (I went to pick it up, and burned my fingers).

The cheap stranded tin/copper cable used in these is brittle and not adequately protected from mechanical strain. The result is that when the strands break from flexing, there's not enough connected cable left to carry the required current.

I'd recommend a workalike from Belkin ( # F8Z328EA ) or any other competent cable maker, rather than shelling out £25 for another fire hazard from Apple.

Something in iOS5 may be provoking this (maybe a faster battery-charging regime), but the root cause is penny-pinching by Apple.

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe...

Maybe St Jobs has found a new way of getting iFanz to upgrade to the next iPhone... Force their existing model to recycle itself into a lump of carbon! Obviously this went off early, no doubt due to Apple's inability to handle clocks.

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Anonymous Coward

Inability to handle clocks

you'll find is something happening to the Androids.. with quite a bad ending.

Try setting the clock on those to 03:14:08 19/01/2038.

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03:14:08 19/01/2038

That's more a problem with ZTE phones I think. Something they did in their custom ROM.

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Anonymous Coward

Unix 32 bit time

Custom ROM? Lol Give it a go on then, I dare you

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Silver badge

re: Try setting the clock on those to 03:14:08 19/01/2038

Oh NOs, my phone is only going to work correctly for another 26 years!

BTW, that's what is know as the UNIX millennium bug. Feel free to post a smug comment in 2038 on a website of your choosing... Assuming you can find a website still working!

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Mushroom

Big, Fat, Hairy Deal!

After all, there's only something over a quarter of a century to fix that in........assuming Android's still around in its current form by then of course.

If that worries you, I strongly suggest that you don't come here any more. Some of the articles are quite likely to cause heart failure in someone of such a fragile disposition.

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Bronze badge
Boffin

Why do I never see these things

I have an iPhone 4 and it never gets hot when charging. I leave it plugged into my iMac all night long and it never even gets warm.

Of does this only happen when you plug it into an outlet?

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Trickle

Charging from USB is more of a trickle charge, thus doesn't cause the device to get as hot.

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Anonymous Coward

Current

USB 2.0 is limited to 500 mA. The outlet chargers are usually more, even up to 1A! This is why it takes longer to change when using USB.

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Joke

trickle 2...

...Also there lies the explanation for exotic frames like aluminium or titanium. They just won't make out of copper because it would be too obvious they were disguising the overheating issues.

On other hand, can you picture a polished brown-red notebook case made of copper?

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Happy

No an issue.

Put it in the fridge.

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Flame

Not if it's a Beko fridge...

http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/news/LatestNewsReleases_PR1554.asp

"Potential fire hazard with Beko fridge freezers"

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Doubtful

From my experience (and I'm an electrician) I'm going to guess the more probable culprit is a faulty charging cable. Even the one Apple supplies with the phone is of incredibly poor quality (I amalready on my third - just picked up a Belkin that is made from thicker gauge wire).

I haven't noticed high temps while charging but definitely have seen them during heavy discharge - if I'm using the GPS in my vehicle with Bluetooth connecting to my stereo and the wifi hotspot enabled, the phone becomes uncomfortably hot - to the point where I won't even put it in my pocket.

Runaway process in beta OS (heavy load on battery) + shitty Apple cable = shorted, melted charging cable.

Would love to know what the other end of this cable was plugged in to, and what happened to it!

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Anonymous Coward

Not related to iOS5 at all

Come on a little bit of research please, there's nothing new in this story or related to iOS 5.

It has happened on the iPhone 4 before, last year in fact: http://www.slashgear.com/iphone-4-catches-on-fire-thanks-to-defective-usb-port-0893410/

Before you all go thinking this is specific to Apple, it has also happened in microUSB devices: http://www.goodandevo.net/2011/04/htc-evo-4g-microusb-cable-could-damage-your-computer-burn-your-house-down.html

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Flame

I think theres a problem

I updated to iOS5 beta 1 when it was first released and my iPhone 4 gets very hot when charging. I couldnt put it in my pocket last time I charged it. I wonder was he on beta 2?

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Meh

Use your brains.

Weather his phone over heated or not, it certainly didnt cause the damage shown in the photo.

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You're

not from around here, are you, mate?

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iOS5

I actually noticed this on my 3GS the other day when charging - it was a lot hotter than normal. However I think this has improved slightly with iOS5 beta 2 which I'm now currently running.

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Joke

Steve Jobs' advised...

...you are charging it wrong.

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Mushroom

Crazy world

No, I am the GOD of Hellfire ..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOErZuzZpS8

Just been over to Utube for an early morning morning Arthur Brown fix. Still magic ......

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FAIL

oops a daisy

and i wonder why it caught fire wierd how can a cable catch fire just buy installing a update did it cause a heat issue hum possible or maybe cause its apple and they dont care about heating problems instead they give customers stuff and forget the consicquences. wasnt there another apple product that caught fire to hum seems to be a commen thing. and you wonder why i never touch em lol

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Coat

so...

that's what happens when you plug your iPhone into a Firewire port.

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Alert

Apple better look out

If they don't get this sorted out before public release, you'll be having house fires all over the country. Then suddenly they've got loads of homeless former iDevice users baying for their blood.

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Flame

Not just a clever name then

What is it with the name PInto - always ending up in flames:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcNeorjXMrE

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FAIL

Pound shops

The Pound shop cables are much better made. No, really.

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Pound shop cable

I think it is a pound shop cable, definitely not apple kit - it has push tabs on the white part of the plug.

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Patents?

I see a patent coming for a method of forcing a customer to buy either a replacement cable, phone or both!

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Coat

So charge it in the fridge

Not that big of a deal

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Facepalm

I am the _god_ of hellfire

what's with this 'lord' stuff?

http://www.lyricsdepot.com/prodigy/fire.html

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Meh

I'm sure Monster Cable® must have a decent USB cable for £200 or so

"The Monster Cable® extreme hyper-throughput USB connectivity solution (£200 + VAT + £50) contains high grade quasi-linearly aligned copper crystals to channel the electricity in its purest form from your power supply to your iPhone. The iPhone will run 16-23% faster, allowing tri-simultaneous in-ear voice transference coupled with neo-proto-exponential rates of battery charging. You may also be slightly more attractive to other people - results vary with time, light and looks"

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Unhappy

The penalty of using poor quality unapproved connectors

One benefit, for consumers, of internationally accepted connectors is that there are numerous sources for them, eliminating monopolies and exorbitant prices but also has the added attraction of being tested against accepted standards.

But some vendors love the extra revenue stream afforded by their unique, sub-par, connectors.

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Mushroom

From St. Jobs

Don't charge it that way.

No big deal.

Sent From My Asbestos coated iPhone

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Thumb Up

Is nobody...

Going to give the writer here props for the clever Arthur Brown reference?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOErZuzZpS8

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