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A while ago, I had my phone repaired (the USB socket was worn out) and had to replace the USB cable as well. Since then I haven't been able to quickly charge my phone in AC mode. Previously it worked both on the dedicated charger that came with my phone and the "power" usb socket on my laptop. Is it plausible that this is because of the cheap cable?

My phone is a Sony Xperia Neo V.

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Theoretically it could be the case. AFAIK the device distinguishes between its power source (USB or A/C) by a signal on a certain pin. So if that special "connection" is missing (or broken), the device might always think it's charging via USB. I'd recommend to go to some shop/repair station and try another cable. –  Izzy Nov 26 '12 at 15:28
    
AFAIR the "signal" is that the data pins are shorted. That can't possibly the way my notebook signaled this as the data transfers and AC charging used to work at the same time just fine. –  Erik Nov 28 '12 at 12:25
    
I found no reference for the PIN assignment so far (didn't dig that deep, admittedly). So we both are just guessing. But regardless of that (which might take a while to be discussed) -- simply go and check with a different cable will answer your original question promptly. Of course, if you prefer, you might wait out here for a final answer, Santa Claus is near ;) (sorry, couldn't resist) –  Izzy Nov 28 '12 at 12:46
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