Why Apple cables break so easily (and what you can do about it)

One common issue that all Apple users seem to agree on is that some of their accessories are not built to last. Ask any iPhone owner and chances are they've probably had to buy several charging cables over the years due to breakage, and the same seems to be true for Macbook users. The Apple Community forums are full of people posting stories about their broken cables, and it appears to be one of the most common issues that Apple users are facing. But why is this the case? We wanted to take a closer look at the Apple cables to find out why they don't seem to be built to last, let's get into it:

What parts of the cables are most fragile?

Looking at the Apple Community forums and from personal experience, it seems to be the Lightning connector end of the cable which is the most fragile and which breaks the most often. We think this is due to the slight lip which can easily split (as you can see in the picture) as well as the fact that this is the end of the charger which is connected to the phone, and is often moved around while it is charged.

The USB end of the cable seems to be much more sturdy and far less prone to breaking - again, we think this is more to do with the fact that this end of the cable is usually left alone while the iPhone is charging.

Apple Lightning connector iPhone
USB end of Apple iPhone charging cable

Why doesn't Apple just make their cables more durable then?

There are lots of theories as to why the Apple cables seem to be so fragile, with many people believing that Apple make their accessories such as cables deliberately fragile to encourage people to buy them more often. This sounds like a stretch to us, but even the most diehard Apple fan would have to admit that the disparity between the resilience of products like their Macbooks and the flimsiness of their charging cables is quite odd.

We do have to admit that since Apple changed their iPhones to fit the Lightning connectors, it has become more and more difficult to find other "off-brand" versions of cables with that connection. Perhaps Apple know this and know that their users will most likely be forced to buy the official cables direct from Apple, so aren't as fussed about ensuring quality?

One thing is for sure, their cables seem to be built for form and not function. Apple is all about the "out of the box" experience, and despite the flimsiness of their cables, they do feel great to hold. Compare this to the feeling of holding a Samsung or Google charger, and they just don't compare. The irony being that the Samsung and Google chargers are usually much more sturdy, despite not having that Apple feeling.

What can you do about it?

Well, we're not going to tell you to take more care of your Apple cables, because that is infuriating and, for the most part, people do. You could try a different brand which makes cables that are compatible with Apple devices, but to be honest we haven't found a really good one yet. One thing we've had success with is using Gorilla tape around the ends of our cables....yes it's totally ridiculous, but so is paying £20 for a cable every 6 months.

Final thoughts

It's depressing to think that Apple might just be taking the mick out of us and there's not much we can do about it, but I try not to be that cynical. Hopefully, this article has inspired you to take better care of your cables at the very least.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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