Apple may have a solution for fraying Lightning cables

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 52
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,755member
    rcfa said:
    Sorry, this is nonsense.

    The issue with these cables is, that Apple in its drive to be environmentally sound uses a plastic insulation that’s not resistant to sweat/oils from the fingers.

    Where you touch the cable, is first discolors, and then the insulation gets soft, gooey, and crumbles. 
    Where you don’t touch the cable, it remains perfectly intact.

    I treat all my gear very carefully. And I have all sorts of cables, incl. varying quality third party USB and lightening cables, and the problem is unique to Apple, because they are trying to use environmentally friendly plastic, which of course backfires, because if you stick to Apple’s cables, you’ll have to buy several over a product’s life span, rather than one.

    Still got perfectly fine “hockey puck” power supplies and cables, old Apple USB cables, etc.; they’re all fine because they’re made from PVC or something similar, while the new *-free cables just crumble over the course of some months on their own after being touched by bare fingers with sweat and finger grease on them.

    You can tell the process is starting when parts of the insulation gets sticky and you could carve it with a finger nail, while elsewhere on the cable, where there’s no regular skin contact, the insulation is neither sticky, nor does it give in to a finger nail.

    By classifying these cases as wear and tear and not replacing them under warranty, Apple has in essence prevented that their materials engineers got the proper feedback on one of the main the causes of these issues: It’s chemistry, not physics!
    Citation? First I’ve heard of that, and my apple cables aren’t crumbling. Not a one, old or new. 

    I did read long ago Apple uses a spongier rubber-plastic for its cables that better resists tangling. 
    Citation not needed, most of us observed a change in the plastic used with our own eyes and fingers. The cables were thicker, stiffer and more matte finished. I seem to remember it was changed so they could eliminate the lead (Pb) found in almost all PVC wire insulation and jackets. 

    Additionally, I have experienced numerous Apple cable failures over the last 20 years starting with the PowerBooks. When those cables failed you had to buy the entire power supply. My current observation is that new cables  seem to be lasting a bit longer that those of the recent past. I did have to replace the cable for my 2017 15” MBP last year, but I got three years out of it. It didn’t completely fail, but was degrading so I put Sugru on it and keep it as a backup. Between me and my wife we have replaced quite a few 30 pin and Lightning cables over the years. Neither of us are rough with our gear. 
  • Reply 42 of 52
    neilm said:
    I've owned an iPhone since the 3G model and never had one of my Apple branded Lightning cables fail. My opinion is that people just abuse them. On the other hand, Apple should probably realize that this is going to happen, and take that into account with a more robust design.

    I have repaired a couple at the office using heat-shrink sleeving to provide extra strain relief. Works fine, cheap and easy to do.
    O great perfect being that your are lol 
    MplsPelijahg
  • Reply 43 of 52
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,996member
    neilm said:
    I've owned an iPhone since the 3G model and never had one of my Apple branded Lightning cables fail. 
    Exactly what does a 3G iPhone have to do with Lightning cables of any brand? The smell of BS is strong in that one.

    nicholfd said:
    If that's true, then maybe people need to wash their hands better/more often?  Just sayin'...
    ...something really stupid.
    elijahg
  • Reply 44 of 52
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,996member
    melgross said:
    There is no way that cable cover can tear in that way. The material simply can’t tear that way.
    Simply pure bullshit. I just repaired a Lightning cable with a nearly identical tear. I can't speak to whether or not the tear in the pic above was faked. I'd guess it wasn't. But I know mine wasn't, and I also know that "The material simply can’t tear that way" is bullshit. Have you done some kind of mass spec analysis of Apple's particular material or other lab tests for endurance on that material? I highly doubt it.

    Some of you claim that you've never had any fraying of an Apple cable, and you may in fact be telling the truth. But Apple has had problems with all kinds of cables fraying for years, especially power adapter cables. It was so bad that HyperJuice, a maker of external battery packs for MacBooks started selling batteries with the round illuminated connector (think iBook and MacBooks) until Apple stopped them.

    You couldn't buy a new cable or connector, you had to buy a complete power adapter. There were several articles about taking an adapter apart to replace its cable with one from another adapter.

    The "if it didn't happen to me it must be fake news" attitude is really head up ass tunnel vision territory. I've lost a few cables over the years to wear and tear. I'm reasonably careful but Apple just doesn't make great cables. That some of you may not have had single problem ever doesn't change that, but good for you.

    The Apple cable I repaired is 5yrs old so I don't feel too bad. But I've purchased cables from Amazon that are definitely much better, less expensive, and more durable though not as flexible as Apple stuff. I don't see Apple creating a solution looking for an answer. If they're working on a better cable it's not because some people aren't taking proper care of their kit.


    elijahg
  • Reply 45 of 52
    Well, I too have never had an Apple cable fail, so all these people complaining about it must be lying.  Or just too stupid to take care of their gear.  I have over 1,000 different cables in various places in my house, at work, and in my car.  I even have ones at the restaurants I go to so I can charge up quick while I'm eating.  This ensures that I never have to actually move a cable from one place to another, making it less likely to fray or break.  I also wash and sanitize my hands before touching any of them.

    I know how to take care of my gear.  All the people complaining about frayed cables should look to themselves before blaming Apple, who've obviously designed the best cable ever, just like they do everything else.  The notion that it could be improved is absurd.

    /s
    elijahgcrowley
  • Reply 46 of 52
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,977member
    melgross said:
    melgross said:
    Usually what happens to my cables is that the rubber/vinyl bunches up at the connector. I’ve only had one tear. But the photo used in the beginning of the article looks fake. Not the cable itself, but the tear looks as though it was deliberately cut. There is no way that cable cover can tear in that way. The material simply can’t tear that way.
    The material can tear that way, and the photo isn't fake.  You're looking at a lighting cable that has most likely experienced 1. multiple hot/cold cycles (probably in a car)  2. multiple removals by pulling the cable instead of the thick hard plastic near the lightning connector (look at the finger oils on the broken section vs the relative cleanliness of the hard/thick plastic portion) and 3. continuous bending causing that split to run... and continue to run because the cable remained in use after being damaged.  I think most people will continue to use a cable regardless of how cracked it gets.  They only think of replacing it when it no longer charges.  'Til then, you end up with what's pictured.
    I’ve had cables cycle hot and cold too. That “failure” is too artificial. Sorry, but I’m pretty familiar with materials, and that’s not the way this would fail.
    Ignoring that I mentioned two other contributing factors along with the hot/cold cycle, I have no idea what "too artificial" means.  There are numerous ways the cable would fail, so to say "that's not the way this would fail" doesn't make sense.  It's not as if there's only one way for the cable to fail.  Based on your "familiarity with materials"←(???) if that's not the way this would fail, what is the way you think it would fail?
    I’m talking about the photo. It’s obviously been cut with an Xacto knife, or equivalent. I already mentioned what normally happens. If a cable gets hot for too long, and the covers on these cables are made from a material that won’t stiffen from glovebox heat, it’s got to be more, then it would discolor, a major way you can see this is fake is because the shielding inside is in perfect contidion. That would be the case if the photo show a cable with real wear. Someone needed a cable that failed, didn’t have one, and so made one themselves.
  • Reply 47 of 52
    Kinda looking forward to the day iPhones don't have cables at all.
  • Reply 48 of 52
    melgross said:
    melgross said:
    melgross said:
    Usually what happens to my cables is that the rubber/vinyl bunches up at the connector. I’ve only had one tear. But the photo used in the beginning of the article looks fake. Not the cable itself, but the tear looks as though it was deliberately cut. There is no way that cable cover can tear in that way. The material simply can’t tear that way.
    The material can tear that way, and the photo isn't fake.  You're looking at a lighting cable that has most likely experienced 1. multiple hot/cold cycles (probably in a car)  2. multiple removals by pulling the cable instead of the thick hard plastic near the lightning connector (look at the finger oils on the broken section vs the relative cleanliness of the hard/thick plastic portion) and 3. continuous bending causing that split to run... and continue to run because the cable remained in use after being damaged.  I think most people will continue to use a cable regardless of how cracked it gets.  They only think of replacing it when it no longer charges.  'Til then, you end up with what's pictured.
    I’ve had cables cycle hot and cold too. That “failure” is too artificial. Sorry, but I’m pretty familiar with materials, and that’s not the way this would fail.
    Ignoring that I mentioned two other contributing factors along with the hot/cold cycle, I have no idea what "too artificial" means.  There are numerous ways the cable would fail, so to say "that's not the way this would fail" doesn't make sense.  It's not as if there's only one way for the cable to fail.  Based on your "familiarity with materials"←(???) if that's not the way this would fail, what is the way you think it would fail?
    I’m talking about the photo. It’s obviously been cut with an Xacto knife, or equivalent. I already mentioned what normally happens. If a cable gets hot for too long, and the covers on these cables are made from a material that won’t stiffen from glovebox heat, it’s got to be more, then it would discolor, a major way you can see this is fake is because the shielding inside is in perfect contidion. That would be the case if the photo show a cable with real wear. Someone needed a cable that failed, didn’t have one, and so made one themselves.
    Not really sure what photo you're looking at but it's 100% obvious that isn't an X-Acto knife cut, or any cut for that matter, pictured in that photo.  That's fairly obvious cracking, chipping, and splitting that happens when a cable has become brittle.  Even with my rapidly declining vision I can see the mottled edges along the growing split, at the edge near the break point, and even on the raised piece of cable that's about to chip off.   

    I mentioned heat, cold, pulling and bending as factors that could easily and rationally explain the look of the cable in the photo.  Curious, why are you stuck on a single factor, heat, when forming your hypothesis?  

    This hypothesis of yours makes even less sense when viewed from the perspective of the inordinate number of photos of frayed lightning cables available on the cyber.   Why fake one when a million, figuratively speaking, real ones are already available? Occam's Razor comes to mind.  The simplest solution: It's a photo of a frayed cable. 
    elijahg
  • Reply 49 of 52
    In 30 years I never had a single Apple cable out of several dozens fray on me other than a 85W power supply for a 2013 MBP, which I still have. I still have cables dating back to the 4th generation iPod. All of them work.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 50 of 52
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,157member
    In 30 years I never had a single Apple cable out of several dozens fray on me other than a 85W power supply for a 2013 MBP, which I still have. I still have cables dating back to the 4th generation iPod. All of them work.
    The old PVC cables were fine. The new ones are not. 

    They use a more expensive (presumably non-PVC) compound in the high voltage mains cables, because they know full well if they fray someone's going to get killed. But in the low voltage cables they don't care because they can save a couple of dollars and someone might be stupid enough to buy another Apple cable.
  • Reply 51 of 52
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,977member
    melgross said:
    melgross said:
    melgross said:
    Usually what happens to my cables is that the rubber/vinyl bunches up at the connector. I’ve only had one tear. But the photo used in the beginning of the article looks fake. Not the cable itself, but the tear looks as though it was deliberately cut. There is no way that cable cover can tear in that way. The material simply can’t tear that way.
    The material can tear that way, and the photo isn't fake.  You're looking at a lighting cable that has most likely experienced 1. multiple hot/cold cycles (probably in a car)  2. multiple removals by pulling the cable instead of the thick hard plastic near the lightning connector (look at the finger oils on the broken section vs the relative cleanliness of the hard/thick plastic portion) and 3. continuous bending causing that split to run... and continue to run because the cable remained in use after being damaged.  I think most people will continue to use a cable regardless of how cracked it gets.  They only think of replacing it when it no longer charges.  'Til then, you end up with what's pictured.
    I’ve had cables cycle hot and cold too. That “failure” is too artificial. Sorry, but I’m pretty familiar with materials, and that’s not the way this would fail.
    Ignoring that I mentioned two other contributing factors along with the hot/cold cycle, I have no idea what "too artificial" means.  There are numerous ways the cable would fail, so to say "that's not the way this would fail" doesn't make sense.  It's not as if there's only one way for the cable to fail.  Based on your "familiarity with materials"←(???) if that's not the way this would fail, what is the way you think it would fail?
    I’m talking about the photo. It’s obviously been cut with an Xacto knife, or equivalent. I already mentioned what normally happens. If a cable gets hot for too long, and the covers on these cables are made from a material that won’t stiffen from glovebox heat, it’s got to be more, then it would discolor, a major way you can see this is fake is because the shielding inside is in perfect contidion. That would be the case if the photo show a cable with real wear. Someone needed a cable that failed, didn’t have one, and so made one themselves.
    Not really sure what photo you're looking at but it's 100% obvious that isn't an X-Acto knife cut, or any cut for that matter, pictured in that photo.  That's fairly obvious cracking, chipping, and splitting that happens when a cable has become brittle.  Even with my rapidly declining vision I can see the mottled edges along the growing split, at the edge near the break point, and even on the raised piece of cable that's about to chip off.   

    I mentioned heat, cold, pulling and bending as factors that could easily and rationally explain the look of the cable in the photo.  Curious, why are you stuck on a single factor, heat, when forming your hypothesis?  

    This hypothesis of yours makes even less sense when viewed from the perspective of the inordinate number of photos of frayed lightning cables available on the cyber.   Why fake one when a million, figuratively speaking, real ones are already available? Occam's Razor comes to mind.  The simplest solution: It's a photo of a frayed cable. 
    No, it’s not.
  • Reply 52 of 52
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,299member
    rcfa said:
    Sorry, this is nonsense.

    The issue with these cables is, that Apple in its drive to be environmentally sound uses a plastic insulation that’s not resistant to sweat/oils from the fingers.

    Where you touch the cable, is first discolors, and then the insulation gets soft, gooey, and crumbles. 
    Where you don’t touch the cable, it remains perfectly intact.

    I treat all my gear very carefully. And I have all sorts of cables, incl. varying quality third party USB and lightening cables, and the problem is unique to Apple, because they are trying to use environmentally friendly plastic, which of course backfires, because if you stick to Apple’s cables, you’ll have to buy several over a product’s life span, rather than one.

    Still got perfectly fine “hockey puck” power supplies and cables, old Apple USB cables, etc.; they’re all fine because they’re made from PVC or something similar, while the new *-free cables just crumble over the course of some months on their own after being touched by bare fingers with sweat and finger grease on them.

    You can tell the process is starting when parts of the insulation gets sticky and you could carve it with a finger nail, while elsewhere on the cable, where there’s no regular skin contact, the insulation is neither sticky, nor does it give in to a finger nail.

    By classifying these cases as wear and tear and not replacing them under warranty, Apple has in essence prevented that their materials engineers got the proper feedback on one of the main the causes of these issues: It’s chemistry, not physics!
    Hadn’t seen your post before I made mine. You are 100% correct, at least from my observations, and I agree with your take on Apple’s behavior and its consequences. 
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