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Users report some Lightning connectors get stuck in USB ports

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
A number of iPhone 5 users have found the design of Apple's new Lightning connector allows the unit to become trapped in USB ports, with some forced to take their affected device in for service just to free the plug.

While the issue does not appear to be widespread, some AppleInsider readers have reported seeing the issue first hand, saying the new connector is getting stuck in their Macs, cars and even dedicated chargers.

Apple's Support Communities has a thread dedicated to the problem, where miffed users have taken to posting their experiences with the problematic connector.

Forum members posited the design of the Lightning's USB plug is to blame, saying the pair of indentations meant to secure the plug with a host machine are too deep. The USB standard calls for these two "notches" to be built in to connectors to prevent accidental or unwanted removal of the cable.

Lightning vs. 30-pin
Apple's 30-pin connector design (let) features shallow notches compared to the new Lightning connector (right).
Source: AppleInsider reader Richard via flickr


In most implementations, specially shaped leaf spring detents within in the USB socket hold the plug in place and allow for easy insertion and removal. However, if the corresponding indentations on a connector are too deep, the detents may extend into the plug past normal operating limits, essentially locking the plug in place.

USB Receptacle
Embodiment of USB protocol receptacle with detents highlighted. | Source: NTC Distributing


It is not guaranteed that the security notches are causing the problem, though the feature appears to be one of the main design changes from the legacy 30-pin dock connectors.

According to multiple Apple support forum members who contacted, the company is supposedly aware of the problem and will replace the cables for customers affected by the issue.
post #2 of 47
Flame on!
post #3 of 47
USBgate
Purple halogate
Mapgate
Light leakgate
Scuffgate

I'm waiting on LTE databurnergate
post #4 of 47
Funny just minutes ago my Lightning cable got stuck in my Nissan Leaf, spent a few minutes trying to unplug it without destroying the cable and the plug. Now I am reading this message...
post #5 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

Funny just minutes ago my Lightning cable got stuck in my Nissan Leaf, spent a few minutes trying to unplug it without destroying the cable and the plug. Now I am reading this message...

Maybe your car is too small...
post #6 of 47
post #7 of 47
You're sticking it in wrong.
post #8 of 47

 

Laws of Electromagnetics upheld.

post #9 of 47

Ahh, nothing like that satisfying "Ker-Chunk" of a connector locking firmly in place...

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #10 of 47

Does any one remember so many negative things related to a new device?  Wow.

 

Lets see.

1)  Maps.

2)  Niks and scratches.

3)  Yellow screen.

4)  USB stuck.

5)  Purple hue.

6)  Battery performance.

7)  Light leak.

 

Can this be a bad sing for Apple?  Does any one remember so many bad stories pertaining to a major release from Apple?

An Apple man since 1977
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An Apple man since 1977
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post #11 of 47
Wrong hole?
post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

Wrong hole?

Right key - wrong keyhole.
post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

Does any one remember so many negative things related to a new device?  Wow.

Lets see.
1)  Maps.
2)  Niks and scratches.
3)  Yellow screen.
4)  USB stuck.
5)  Purple hue.
6)  Battery performance.
7)  Light leak.

Can this be a bad sing for Apple?  Does any one remember so many bad stories pertaining to a major release from Apple?

I wish...
post #14 of 47

Is that to charge the phone or the leaf?

post #15 of 47
This is a combination of the jack too. The springloaded "tabs" in the jacks should be slanted and smooth enough so the depth doesn't matter.
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

Does any one remember so many negative things related to a new device?  Wow.

Lets see.
1)  Maps.
2)  Niks and scratches.
3)  Yellow screen.
4)  USB stuck.
5)  Purple hue.
6)  Battery performance.
7)  Light leak.

Can this be a bad sing for Apple?  Does any one remember so many bad stories pertaining to a major release from Apple?

Just saw on CNN there's now an iPhone too thin-gate.
post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

Does any one remember so many negative things related to a new device?  Wow.

Lets see.
1)  Maps.
2)  Niks and scratches.
3)  Yellow screen.
4)  USB stuck.
5)  Purple hue.
6)  Battery performance.
7)  Light leak.

Can this be a bad sing for Apple?  Does any one remember so many bad stories pertaining to a major release from Apple?

I think it's less a reflection on Apple than:

1. Anyone can complain about anything and the Internet makes the complaints widespread even if only 0.0000001% of people are affected.

2. Complaints about Apple get top billing even when Apple is actually better than average in a particular subject.

3. The massive numbers of Android shills and Apple haters are desperate so they blow things out of proportion.

4. Apple's products sell in such huge numbers that the media jumps all over silly things like "there were 10 complaints about xxxxx" without realizing that 10 complaints out of 100 M phones sold is actually a pretty good number.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #18 of 47
My pinball machine (casino themed) says "that's the wrong hole" when you lose roulette. Maybe since such a small number of iOS users are idiots, they are sticking it in the wrong hole. Maybe a FireWire 400...or a MagSafe (hahahahaha)

 

 


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post #19 of 47

I have no problem  with the USB end at all. I am slightly concerned about the actual lighting port on the phone wearing over time, where it won't firmly hold the plug. Could just be paranoid though.

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I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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post #20 of 47
That's what she said...
post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by winstein2010 View Post

That's what she said...

In reply to iSheldon?  Beat me to it.

post #22 of 47
Quote:

Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post
 

Does any one remember so many negative things related to a new device?  Wow.

 

Lets see.

1)  Maps.

2)  Niks and scratches.

3)  Yellow screen.

4)  USB stuck.

5)  Purple hue.

6)  Battery performance.

7)  Light leak.

 

Can this be a bad sing for Apple?  Does any one remember so many bad stories pertaining to a major release from Apple?

 

 

Sure. The new iPad. Bad wifi, yellow screen heat problem, heavy, thicker, battery charging issues, battery draining issues, LTE burning through data issues, non-retina apps looking blurry issues, web pages with non-retina graphics looking awful issues, price compared to Fire (too expensive), bad front facing camera

 

How do you know how good an Apple product is, by the nit picking issues that come up. If you scratch it with keys, it'll scratch, sometimes USB connectors stick, yellow screen happens EACH YEAR because the first crop of devices are from the factory and the glue needs to evaporate, everyone has been complaining about the battery since the first iPhone.

 

Basically, this stuff is filler because flash support, folder, multitasking, 3G, LTE, bad camera, no high def video, bad front-facing camera, no front-facing camera MMS, in other words, all the real problems are gone leaving people *looking* for anything bad to say.

post #23 of 47

This happened to me. I plugged the USB cable into my Apple wired keyboard and it was completely locked into place. I've been using Macs since long before USB existed, and this is the first time I've ever experienced this sort of problem.

 

I brought the fused keyboard/cable pair into the Apple Store and the "Genius" just pulled on the cable as hard as he could until the wire ripped out. Real smooth!

 

At the end of the day I was given a brand new keyboard and USB cable out of the deal, so I can't complain. But I am extremely hesitant to plug the thing in again. I will probably plug it into a cheap hub from now on, to provide a safety buffer.

post #24 of 47
I'm usually an Apple supporter and I type this in a room where I'm surrounded by in excess of $10K of Apple equipment. But lately I've been seeing problems with Apple stuff where there used to be none. Part of the "Apple tax" wherein we pay more for Apple stuff is that it's supposed to be the highest quality. So what happens when we keep paying the tax but the quality evaporates? I think anyone experiencing the stuck USB connector problem should indeed be miffed. A $29 cable should not get stuck when $1 cables do not. Otherwise, where did that other $28 go??
post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

Otherwise, where did that other $28 go??
Into the other 7 million cables that work flawlessly?
post #26 of 47
ran into this earlier today. had to give it a good yank to get out of the "brick"... not the brick that came with the phone though.
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Stiles View Post

I brought the fused keyboard/cable pair into the Apple Store and the "Genius" just pulled on the cable as hard as he could until the wire ripped out. Real smooth!

 

 

Sounds strange for a genius, the correct way to remove anything electrical is by grasping the plug, I am surprised they aren't taught that.

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post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

However, if the corresponding indentations on a connector are too deep, the detents may extend into the plug past normal operating limits, essentially locking the plug in place.

According to multiple Apple support forum members who contacted, the company is supposedly aware of the problem and will replace the cables for customers affected by the issue.

I don't know why, but this made me laugh! They'll replace it once it's locked in place...

I immediately thought of a car, then subsequently read the post above. How do you explain it to the Apple genius if you can't get it out of your car. A keyboard is one thing...
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

Does any one remember so many negative things related to a new device?  Wow.

 

Lets see.

1)  Maps.

2)  Niks and scratches.

3)  Yellow screen.

4)  USB stuck.

5)  Purple hue.

6)  Battery performance.

7)  Light leak.

 

Can this be a bad sing for Apple?  Does any one remember so many bad stories pertaining to a major release from Apple?

 

Ye donna recall the Apple III do ye, laddie?

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #30 of 47
They didn't use lube.
post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

Sounds strange for a genius, the correct way to remove anything electrical is by grasping the plug, I am surprised they aren't taught that.

 


Take a good look at the USB connections on the Apple wired keyboard. The top half of the USB plug is not grippable because the keyboard body is in the way. The sides can both be gripped, but gripping by the sides greatly reduces the amount of pull you can apply to the cable.

 

After the Genius did what I had already tried--grabbing the plug's sides and pulling as much as is possible--he just went to the next level. Afterwards he told me he expected the outcome would be destroying the cable, but there wasn't much alternative.

 

For what it's worth, I had also tried wrapping a rag around the cable plug and using "Robo-Grip" pliers to try pulling it out, and it didn't budge a millimeter. Whatever happened, I think I can say with confidence that the plug was not going to come out without damaging either the keyboard or the cable in the process.

post #32 of 47

In other news, sticking your head in the toilet may result in water getting up your nose

post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

Just saw on CNN there's now an iPhone too thin-gate.

Eating disorder. It binges on data and power, then purges.

Seriously, mine was a little bit tight, BUT THEY ALL ARE WHEN THEY ARE NEW. I'm sure some people are legitimately having problems, but I think the majority just need to plug it and unplug it a few times. It will loosen up, and everything will be okay.

You will eventually get used to inserting something and removing it, and it will feel natural.
post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBillyGoatGruff View Post


Eating disorder. It binges on data and power, then purges.
Seriously, mine was a little bit tight, BUT THEY ALL ARE WHEN THEY ARE NEW. I'm sure some people are legitimately having problems, but I think the majority just need to plug it and unplug it a few times. It will loosen up, and everything will be okay.
You will eventually get used to inserting something and removing it, and it will feel natural.

The issue isn't "it's tough to remove." The issue is "the cable fuses in place and will not budge."

 

I've been using computers since before USB existed. I've seen lots of tight cables. I've never seen a USB cable completely locked into a socket before, but I saw it with my new iPhone 5. There's something wrong. Probably it's rare, but it's not a matter of "just pull harder." Pulling harder will just destroy the cable or socket, whichever gives first. Some users have had success by wedging flat little pieces of plastic into the socket to try to disengage whatever mechanism is holding the cable in place.

post #35 of 47
There is nothing below the cutouts on the flip side of the USB cables on number of them I have and they never got stock.

Perhaps the thinner cowl around the rest of the plug is allowing the plug to be pushed farther into the socket and that is part of the problem.
post #36 of 47
actually, my ligthning port got stuck into an USB power adapter (apple!) and it was difficult to remove. It should not happen!
post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBillyGoatGruff View Post

Seriously, mine was a little bit tight, BUT THEY ALL ARE WHEN THEY ARE NEW. I'm sure some people are legitimately having problems, but I think the majority just need to plug it and unplug it a few times. It will loosen up, and everything will be okay.
You will eventually get used to inserting something and removing it, and it will feel natural.
And remember to use the USB socket located on the front of your computer, the one in back is usually only used on your birthday or special occasions...

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post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I think it's less a reflection on Apple than:
1. Anyone can complain about anything and the Internet makes the complaints widespread even if only 0.0000001% of people are affected.
2. Complaints about Apple get top billing even when Apple is actually better than average in a particular subject.
3. The massive numbers of Android shills and Apple haters are desperate so they blow things out of proportion.
4. Apple's products sell in such huge numbers that the media jumps all over silly things like "there were 10 complaints about xxxxx" without realizing that 10 complaints out of 100 M phones sold is actually a pretty good number.

Why is everything a conspiracy for you? It's very simple, all the attention Apple gets from the media (which every single time someone on here will mention that Samsung wishes they had) will report the good with the bad. Guess what device most of the people in the media have? Who's in a better position to make a small problem seem bigger than it is? A few Apple hating fandroids or those in the media with lots of eyes and ears at their disposal? And judging by the posts on here it seems quite common a problem.
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post #39 of 47

The post about battery drain due to weak signal is the dumbest thing I've read on any forum!  Why would anyone stupid enough to post such an article, I don't know.  Anyone who had ever had a cell phone knows that when the phone has good signal, its battery life would be good and when it has weak signal, it'd drain the battery faster.  To post such an article as a weakness of ANY device is like complaining that you get wet in the shower.

I've used many different phones and found that the iPhone lasts me the longest of all the smart phones that I've ever used.  This includes the EVO 4G, the EPIC 4G, and the iPhone.  The EVO 4G lasts me about 6 hours.  The Epic 4G lasted me 8 hours.  The iPhone lasts me 12 hours.  Under strong signals, the iPhone lasts me a whole day. I go online and on FB a lot when I'm not home, so my web and data usage is pretty high... Not high enough to be capped, but high enough to see how the battery situation is...

My point is that EVERY PHONE suffers when it comes to weak signal.  To pinpoint a single device and act as if it's the ONLY device to suffer from such a universal problem is just plain lazy and irresponsible.


 

post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

Funny just minutes ago my Lightning cable got stuck in my Nissan Leaf, spent a few minutes trying to unplug it without destroying the cable and the plug. Now I am reading this message...

 

Nissan Leafgate!

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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