"This accessory is not made to work with iPhone."

My first-gen iPhone (purchased with @cw on opening day '07) has recently begun incessantly displaying the above error, despite not being plugged into anything. It's sort of annoying, and apparently other people have been seeing it too. It feels like it's gotten worse after updating to the 2.0 firmware. Here's what I've found from digging 'round the tubes:

Apple Support Forums:
  • "I have cleaned the dock with compressed air, vacuum, toothbrush, and whatever other small things I could get my hands on."
  • "Make sure there is no lint, moisture or other debris in the dock connector port on the iPhone."
  • "Get a hair dryer and run the air through the connections on the top (remove your SIM ) and bottom (the part that plugs into the docking station) of your iphone for 5-10 min. Take care not to over heat the iphone too much!" 
  • "I had the exact same problem with my 1st iPhone. I took it back to the apple store and they replaced it right away." 
  • "A while back a coworker of mine told me he had to pop out the sim and put it back in to fix that error on his phone. I dont see how that could be the cause but what happened in his case was that he dropped his phone and that message came on. Reseating the sim fixed it in his case (maybe it got knocked loose). Might be worth a try."
  • "I've also seen reports that plugging and unplugging headphones in will remove this issue. YMMV."
  • "I have the same problem. After having the iphone in my bathroom the message appears almost every 4 seconds. I think some condensate got into it."
MacRumors Forums:
  • "Finally found on a Apple forum that lint can build up on the connector, dock, or cable and cause this error to pop up all time. Try cleaning the connector using keyboard air spray or was the cable and connector pieces. That should do the trick."
  • "spent about five minutes with a needle cleaning out the dock and the dock connector. I also blew on them a lot. Problem solved. I would assume if certain pins aren't making contact, the iPhone's not sure what it's plugged into—but as long as the two or three pins carrying the power supply make contact, it will still charge correctly. So, in short, just clean it a little. It wasn't too bad." 
  • "It is likely the error is caused by a shorted circuit in the dock connector. I have sourced a replacement dock connector and a company that will do the replacement."
Alas though, none of the above have solved the problem.

Update, a few days later: the problem seems to have fixed itself. Perhaps whatever condensate had accumulated, has passed.


  1. try using some 90% isopropyl alchohol and a thin foam cleaning swab. something like the mini swab here: http://www.stencilrolls.com/swabdetail.htm

    similar techniques have worked for me for repairing flaky/dirty connectors. i don't have an iphone though, so YMMV...

    definitely *no* q-tip as that could leave some lint.

  2. Hey there!

    I'm also getting that message after putting a skin on my iphone (using water doh!). Taken the skin off, but I still get the message. Leaving it now for a few days to see if the problem resolves itself.

  3. Ok, i had this problem for 4 months. It was getting worse and worse. It was the dock connector of my iphone.
    I ordered a new dock connector from the net, opened the iphone and changed it (be careful, it's complicated). Now the problem is solved... everything works perfectly again.

  4. Thanks Luca! Sounds like exactly what is happening to me!

    Could you provide some details of how you did it? Like where you sourced the connector from and which guides you followed to open the iphone and do the replacement. Did you have to solder?

    Appreciate it if you could email me rsachoc at gmail.com


  5. Hurray!! atlast I found a soft fix for this problem!!

    After searching all the blogs for the solution.. I found nothing..
    I hv done some R&D on this and came up with a solution...

    The dig for this problem starts from finding the process in which this is causing and killing it.
    fortunately I got an application in the installer which shows all the processes that are running in iphone.
    The application is 'Sysinfo'..

    You ppl don't need to install this.. as i'm having the cause that is affecting this problem.

    Ok no more researches...
    Please follow the steps to get rid of this vague message.

    1. From Installer, Please install the "File Browser" from the 'Productivity' Category.
    2. After successfull installation of File Browser, navigate to the following path
    (Default path the file browser will show is "/var/root". Need to change this to the above path. For navigating that, you need to change the settings by clicking on Settings(in File Browser app) and change the Home Directory in Advanced Settings from '/var/root' to '/')

    3. Now you can see a file which starts with 'apd' in the path.
    4. Select the file, click on Edit in the bottom and select Delete.
    5. Repeat the Delete untill it deletes the file.

    6. Now restart your iphone after deleting the file.

    Your phone is now free with that message and it will back you all ur features. I'm sure it won't create you any other problems.

    contact me to my mailid funnysuresh@gmail.com if u hv any queries...

  6. Hey Case -- Got this error over the weekend and came to your blog. Small world.

    One difference in my situation is that I've never seen the error before, but over the weekend I plugged the iPhone into a friend's car. Legitimately got an error there, but hasn't gone away. Could be a red herring, so I'll try cleaning.

  7. This worked - i removed the sim chip holder and then i took a blow dryer with cold air and blew against the top and bottom

    Thanks a lot