Unfortunately, when it comes to phone accessories many people still seem to choose the cheapest option without considering quality. The problem is that in some cases, the initial savings can backfire. The simple fact is that cheap charging cables will kill devices.
This isn’t exactly the user’s fault. In a market that is saturated with aftermarket accessories, it’s hard to distinguish the quality products from the fake ones. That’s why it’s your job as a repair store owner or a technician to educate your customers about identifying MFi certified cables.
What’s an MFi Certified Logo?
MFI stands for “Made for iPhone, iPod, or iPad”. All MFI certified accessories have an actual label with this information on the package. It means that the manufacture of these accessories is certified by Apple, such as Belkin and Anker.
Besides charging cables, the MFI logo also covers accessories like the AirPlay streaming for Apple TV and the AirTunes supported wireless speakers. Having this certified logo ensures that the third-party accessory is properly designed to work with any of the Apple devices.
The Difference Between MFI Cables vs. Aftermarket Cables
Apple uses a lightning connector for charging devices and transmitting data. Inside each lightning connector there’s an authentication chip. Certified MFi cables have an E75 chip that contains a password to allow your phone to take in the voltage while the Tristar chip regulates the amount of power that the phone’s logic board can receive. If the cable does not have an E75 chip, a message saying “Accessory not supported” appears on the user’s phone.
However, third-party factories have figured out a way to create a cheap cable without the E75 chip. They create a fake one that tricks the device into accepting the unregulated voltage, and the Voltage regulator IC ends up taking in more power than it should which results on the failure of components. These fake cables can cause serious damage to the charge circuit chip on the logic board, and it can cause all kinds of charging issues including terminal damage by overheating and frying the phone’s logic board.
Symptoms Of a Damaged Charge Circuit IC
- Sudden battery percentage drops or increases
- Battery only charges until a certain percentage
- Battery dies before hitting 0%
- Fake charging – the charging sign shows up but percentage doesn’t change
- No charge at all
Whenever you get a customer complaining about their battery life after purchasing an iPhone only three months ago, or with any of the other symptoms listed above, ask them what kind of charging cable they’ve been using.
If they reply with answers such as “some cable I got at the mall for $10” or “a car cable”, immediately explain to them that this is exactly the cause of their issue.
Show them how they can see their device’s battery life by going into settings > battery > battery health. If it shows something like 80%, tell them that it’s because the fake cable has already killed 20 battery cells and things will only get worse.
Finally, offer your customer to purchase an MFi certified cable at your shop (assuming you have stock and have done your research to ensure you’re only selling MFi Cables), you can even offer a small discount with the repair. Some customers may push back when they hear the price compared to cheap, fake cables, but make it clear that the $10 saving might just turn into a $1,000 loss when their phone completely stops working.
Sourcing MFi Cables to Your Repair Store
This should be an easy task: look for the MFi logo when purchasing new charging cables or any other Apple accessories to your store, but please be aware that a lot of China vendors are faking the package MFi logo. Apple’s website contains a list of all their MFi certified accessories and you can check all of them here: https://mfi.apple.com/MFiWeb/getAPS
Always invest in certified, high-quality products at your store. Trust us, if a customer gets their phone permanently damaged because of a fake product you sold them, you might earn a permanently damaged reputation.