Pocket-lint broke my iPhone

Posted on 30th Oct 2010 at 09:37 by Clive Webster with 26 comments

Clive Webster
Damn them and their photo-heavy gadget coverage. No, actually I’m talking about the fluff in my pocket. It’s all very well having a single device that does everything from run Windows 3.1 to play tunes to surf the web, but there’s no way to cover the mini-jack hole and the iPod connector, so they gather dust and fluff.

A while ago the in-line remote of the my headset stopped working – I could press that button as much I liked but it wouldn’t skip the track, and it meant that I had to get the phone out of my pocket to take a call... imagine that! To be honest I’ve never got used to the way that speaking into a small in-line microphone made me look like I had a ‘special’ friend, so that wasn’t too much of a hassle.

Pocket-lint broke my iPhone *Pocket-lint broke my iPhone

I’d just assumed that the wire of the headset had gone – I’ve never had a set of headphones last more than a year as the wire tends to break near the jack, and I’d probably had that headset for about a year.

However, the problem was even more mundane – the fluff of my pockets had got into to the mini-jack port and was preventing the in-line remote connecting properly. After ten minutes with a thin pointy device (a twist-tie) I’d cleared out a few chunks of lint and my in-line remote worked again: happy days!

A week or two later the wire in the headset cable broke, and only the left earpiece would work. Sigh...

If you're in-line remote has stopped working, hopefully my experience will help you avoid a trip to your local Genius bar or a pricey repair job. Then again, maybe your phone is knackered, in which case I can't help.

Next week: Anandtech lost my arm.


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Jehla 30th October 2010, 09:50 Quote
I've known people to have this problem, still at least with the iphone you don't get dust between the screen and the case like I had on my 6220 classic.
FelixTech 30th October 2010, 10:16 Quote
My ipod shuffle was taken out of action by a tiny shred of chocolate bar wrapper. I'll never know how that happened :S
wuyanxu 30th October 2010, 10:51 Quote
my iPhone 2G used to have this problem. a paper clip and 10 minutes later, it's fine.

now, just always remember to blow over the ports of headphone jack and dock adaptor before plugging anything in.
Sheiken 30th October 2010, 10:58 Quote
Ah the good old days of cartridge gaming!
Madness_3d 30th October 2010, 11:50 Quote
You can get covers for the headphone and dock connectors for about 50p :P
MrJay 30th October 2010, 12:29 Quote
At work we regularly have some kind of apple product on our bench that needs fixing/updating or replacing. The latest one had been put through a 50 degree wash and the Iphone 3GS prior to that had been totally destroyed by horse hair! We opend it up and it was full of the stuff.
eddtox 30th October 2010, 12:34 Quote
Horse hair? HORSE hair? HORSE HAIR INSIDE???
KayDat 30th October 2010, 12:39 Quote
You can buy a wide range of anti-dust jacks from DX, just for this purpose. =]
Yslen 30th October 2010, 12:49 Quote
lol @ the tags
TWeaK 30th October 2010, 14:32 Quote
Simple solution: wash your jeans with your pockets inside-out :P
Jipa 30th October 2010, 14:37 Quote
"If you're in-line remote has stopped working, "

That made me cry.
bowman 30th October 2010, 15:14 Quote
Pressure air. Cleans everything. The dust DISAPPEARS, doesn't go anywhere else, I swear!
theflatworm 30th October 2010, 15:22 Quote
""If you're in-line remote has stopped working, "

That made me cry."

Beat me to it by 40 minutes. Though I was gonna say 'for shame!' instead.
mrbens 30th October 2010, 15:49 Quote
You'll have to wrap it in cling film when you put your phone in your pocket :)

"A while ago the in-line remote of the my headset stopped working"

"If you're in-line remote has stopped working"

As already mentioned 'you're' means 'you are' :)
tseax 30th October 2010, 17:26 Quote
Yep, makes a body long for the simple, gadget-free cabin-life seen at the end of the movie "Minority Report", no?
l3v1ck 31st October 2010, 11:30 Quote
I’ve never had a set of headphones last more than a year
On a related note, the slogan you use a lot (or used to use) on the podcast, "Shure, they won't let you down", is wrong.
Mine just did. Thankfully, unlike the first pair I owned (which suffered the same fault), this pair died just before the waranty expired.
The new slogan needs to be "Shure, they'll let you down at around the two year mark." ;)
Dr Dark 31st October 2010, 11:59 Quote
I think I will have the same problem with my Samsung Galaxy... similar design.. but in my eyes... better..... but if even the mighty samsung can't modify a copied design... then who can?!
borandi 31st October 2010, 17:59 Quote
Compressed air to the rescue.
mardon 1st November 2010, 09:02 Quote
You might find its not the headset. My iphone 3GS has also broken and the left ear stopped working. I thought it was the headphones until I tried them else where and they were fine.

Luckly i've got insurance, its going to be strange being without my iphone for a week or so!
lacuna 1st November 2010, 12:17 Quote
There is something jammed in the headphone socket of my iphone. I've only used headphones with it a handful of times in the 20 months I've had it though so no problem.

In addition, one of the speakers doesn't work anymore, the screen is cracked and the case is splitting up the back. Apart from that its fine :)
Farfalho 1st November 2010, 13:02 Quote
I laughed at the situation of the remote headphones stopped working after you cleaned the iPhone and thought it was the headphones fault.

I'm sorry!
EnglishLion 1st November 2010, 13:45 Quote
Never used my headphone jack. Don't even know if it has worked from new. Why would you want to tether yourself to your phone when you can have bluetooth audio?
[- pio -] 1st November 2010, 14:06 Quote
I had a similar problem with my Hero. Same cause, but a bit different results; The lint made my phone believe that a hands-free headset was constantly plugged in, no matter what was, or wasn't, plugged in. Of course this also meant that my phone stopped being a phone since it shut off both the microphone and speaker :P Got it out in the end, fortunately!
Wingtale 16th November 2010, 20:02 Quote
Something like that happened with me on my laptop. The charging port wore out, I tried to replace it myself but I couldn't, so I had to pay £150 to replace it.
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