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 …


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  1. Kristian Walsh

    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.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    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.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. treboR

        03:14:08 19/01/2038

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

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Unix 32 bit time

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

      2. Steve Evans

        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!

      3. TeeCee Gold badge

        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.

  4. MikeSM


    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!

  5. Noogie Brown

    No an issue.

    Put it in the fridge.

    1. hplasm

      Not if it's a Beko fridge...

      "Potential fire hazard with Beko fridge freezers"

  6. Hud Dunlap

    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?

    1. Shades


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

      1. Anonymous Coward

        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?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      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.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    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:

    Before you all go thinking this is specific to Apple, it has also happened in microUSB devices:

  8. dciso

    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?

  9. Brian 6

    Use your brains.

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

    1. Charlie van Becelaere


      not from around here, are you, mate?

  10. Mike Wharton


    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.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Steve Jobs' advised... are charging it wrong.

  12. Rogan Paneer

    Crazy world

    No, I am the GOD of Hellfire .....

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


    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

  14. Anonymous Coward


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

  15. Anonymous Coward

    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.

  16. Eat Pineapple

    Not just a clever name then

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

  17. Wisteela

    Pound shops

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

  18. Dave Moffatt

    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.

  19. Rabbit80


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

  20. Scott Wheeler

    So charge it in the fridge

    Not that big of a deal

  21. Anonymous Coward

    I am the _god_ of hellfire

    what's with this 'lord' stuff?

  22. Anonymous Coward

    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"

  23. JaitcH

    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.

  24. Ian Bremner

    From St. Jobs

    Don't charge it that way.

    No big deal.

    Sent From My Asbestos coated iPhone

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Is nobody...

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

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