Originally Posted by Aqua OS X
Eh. As an industrial designer, I don't really think that's an excuse. A LOT of people are going to yank the cord. They shouldn't, but they will. It's convenient and 99.9% of the time the cord will be fine... so people will do it.
As a designer you should design a solution that accounts for how your users will interact, for better or worse, with your product. Look at the cord on an iron. The plug is big and grippy to indicate "I'm supposed to be grabbed," but just in case the user yanks the cord, the cord is thick and reinforced at the plug.
I'm not saying Apple needs to go back to 1999 and bring back the big fat power cord, but they could make some small design tweaks to address this. The connector could have some affordances that speak to "grab" and "pull here" (grippy lines, thumb indentation, etc.) Moreover, the cable could have a discreet rubber shield that stresses the mag safe connector, not the internal wiring.
I agree with what you're saying here totally, but I don't believe that pulling on the cord is the issue for magsafe connectors.
The one thing they (presumably) *are* designed for specifically is detachment by yanking on the cord. It's their entire raison d'etre as it were.
Apple has a history of designing things to rather fine tolerances and their designers place a premium on thin-ness, as well as keeping things to the smallest size possible for their use. I would suspect that the conductors in the wire are the minimum required so as not to overheat with the resistance and the cable packing/sheathing/whatever is as minimal as it can be also.
Given that, all it takes is a strong person with a penchant for winding their cords with more force than the designer expected, and some of the wires inside will eventually break. This could easily leads to overheating, possible additional wires breaking and a snowball effect wherein the wire becomes either dangerously hot or broken or both.
IMO it's the minimalist design coupled with the failure to expect that a giant truck driver might also buy that laptop instead of the usual effete Apple-eque latte drinker that's at fault.
It also struck me as a bad idea that they continue to encourage users to wind their cords around the adapter horns. Being practical and having had it drilled into me since birth not to overly wind cords on electrical equipment I've never had a problem, but given these wire problems started appearing years ago, Apple should probably have started discouraging the practice given that an un-careful "winder" can cause so much damage.