Amazon Bans Sale of Potentially Dangerous USB-C Cables

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
49,654
10,974



Amazon has tightened restrictions on the sale of USB-C cables and adapters on its online store in an effort to protect customers from risky substandard products (via The Verge).

The online retailer added non-compliant USB-C cables to its list of prohibited items, following a flood of potentially damaging third-party cables onto the market. The new note on Amazon's page of undesirables prohibits "any USB-C(TM) (or USB Type-C(TM)) cable or adapter product that is not compliant with standard specifications issued by 'USB Implementers Forum Inc.'"

The update was spotted by Google engineer Benson Leung, who has been testing USB-C cables sold by Amazon in an effort to highlight the risks of non-compliant products. Leung was spurred into action after a USB-C charging cable he bought destroyed a Chromebook Pixel he was working on in compatibility tests.


Apple introduced the USB-C standard to its Mac range with the release of the 12-inch Retina MacBook. The new standard allows charging, data transfer, and video over a single connector. As a result, USB-C cables are capable of carrying a lot more power than traditional USB connectors, making faulty units a risk to computers and power supplies, and potentially a fire hazard.

Apple states in a support document that the 12-inch MacBook will charge from USB-C power adapters not manufactured by Apple if they adhere to the USB Power Delivery specification. Based on Leung's extensive testing, 30 percent of third-party USB-C cables currently available do not meet USB-IF standards. Apple's USB-C ports are designed to shut down if a larger-than-expected amount of power is detected flowing through cables, however Amazon's ban should mean cables that can damage or shut down a device will no longer be offered through the site.

Apple suffered its own USB-C problems when a "design issue" in charging cables shipped with certain Retina MacBooks failed to supply sufficient charge when connected to a power adapter. Apple is providing new, redesigned USB-C charge cables to MacBook owners with faulty cables at no cost.

Article Link: Amazon Bans Sale of Potentially Dangerous USB-C Cables
 

dawson001

macrumors newbie
Mar 30, 2016
1
1
Aylesbury
Based on the work from Benson Leung (Google) there are 30% of USB-C cables that fail the test. His work has also encouraged a lot of other individuals to do testing. There are quite a few websites popping up in response to this such as: usbccompliant.co.uk (UK/EU) & usbccompliant.com (US)
 
  • Like
Reactions: 69Mustang

DCYorke

macrumors member
Apr 7, 2010
34
95
Why?
This is NOT about Apple, this is about certified USB-C cables, if you buy a certified USB-C cable from ANY manufacturer you're good to go.
I wouldn't go around telling people to only buy Apple cables, however customers would be wise to buy only from trusted sources. Belkin and Amazon Basics are two brands that come to mind.

Even with this policy in place, does Amazon actually check every cable in its store? Or is there still the possibility that manufactures and resellers will sneak them in?
 
  • Like
Reactions: just.in.time

joueboy

macrumors 68000
Jul 3, 2008
1,575
1,545
Buy Apple cables only people, until Apple do some sort of 'MFI' for USB-C or something.
The article even states that Apple cable is having problems. The whole point of the article is to get a cable that is compliant to the standard of USBIFI. Just like buying MFI cables approved by Apple. They're actually cheaper and sometimes more durable than Apple's.
 
  • Like
Reactions: H2SO4

TheShadowKnows!

macrumors 6502a
Sep 30, 2014
857
1,719
National Capital Region
Buy Apple cables only people, until Apple do some sort of 'MFI' for USB-C or something.
Nonsense. USB-C needs no MFI. Or, Apple tax. Be an educated consumer before you post bollocks.

USB-C is a mechanical specification that must comply with the USB-IF specification for power delivery. Independently of its mechanical characteristics for power delivery, USB-C cables are data-rated to either USB 3.1 (10 Gbps nominal), USB 3.0 (5Gbps nominal), and of course legacy USB 2.0.

My suggestion: Buy cables from monoprice.com. Their select series cables are the bees knees at great price. (No links with them, just a happy customer.)
 

TurboPGT!

Suspended
Sep 25, 2015
1,595
2,620
Why?
This is NOT about Apple, this is about certified USB-C cables, if you buy a certified USB-C cable from ANY manufacturer you're good to go.
Until such time as said cable destroys your $1200+ laptop, and Apple shrugs and says "where'd you get that cable?".
The smartass forum posters who brag about buying cables for $0.20 instead of $20 will not turn up to help you when it happens either.
 
  • Like
Reactions: webbuzz

Glassed Silver

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2007
2,096
2,559
Kassel, Germany
Until such time as said cable destroys your $1200+ laptop, and Apple shrugs and says "where'd you get that cable?".
The smartass forum posters who brag about buying cables for $0.20 instead of $20 will not turn up to help you when it happens either.
He specifically recommended CERTIFIED cables.
Speaking of cable quality, Apple is far from the golden standard.

I'd rather get a well built (maybe less beautiful) third party cable that is certified and sturdy.
Probably at the same price, maybe less, but at least it's safe and doesn't break after 6-12 months.

Glassed Silver:mac
 
  • Like
Reactions: justperry and H2SO4

ZMacintosh

macrumors 65816
Nov 13, 2008
1,239
339
Buy Apple cables only people, until Apple do some sort of 'MFI' for USB-C or something.
Yeah i never understood why people choose to use 3rd party cables for an apple device, get the cable from apple. cheaping out on 3rd party cables that could damage your device or simply not work makes no sense, the cables from apple work and are covered. I don't even use the ones that came with the car charger from the 3rd parties too many issues or "this cable is not compatible"
 

H2SO4

macrumors 601
Nov 4, 2008
4,639
5,157
Yeah i never understood why people choose to use 3rd party cables for an apple device, get the cable from apple. cheaping out on 3rd party cables that could damage your device or simply not work makes no sense, the cables from apple work and are covered. I don't even use the ones that came with the car charger from the 3rd parties too many issues or "this cable is not compatible"
A load of crap. If you buy all of your spares/accessories from the OEM then I’ll at least excuse your drivel.
That means, bulbs/oil/brake pads etc only from the main stealer.
Boiler problem? Don't call your local plumber - call the manufacturer.

See where I’m going?
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,555
6,819
Buy Apple cables only people, until Apple do some sort of 'MFI' for USB-C or something.
Yeah i never understood why people choose to use 3rd party cables for an apple device, get the cable from apple. cheaping out on 3rd party cables that could damage your device or simply not work makes no sense, the cables from apple work and are covered. I don't even use the ones that came with the car charger from the 3rd parties too many issues or "this cable is not compatible"
We aren't talking about knockoff Apple lightning cables. We are talking about the new USB cables, which are an industry-wide standard.

For example nobody's going to buy a USB hard drive/Chromebook/Mouse/printer/etc., throw away the USB cable, and then get an Apple-branded USB cable for their non-Apple device. It's absurd.
 
  • Like
Reactions: H2SO4

ZMacintosh

macrumors 65816
Nov 13, 2008
1,239
339
This was specifically at Apple products that came with their own cables and those using 3rd party instead. which also is relevant to macbook with USB-C cable. get the apple manufactured one to have better results as its made specifically for that device. I think you both blew it way out of proportion.


A load of crap. If you buy all of your spares/accessories from the OEM then I’ll at least excuse your drivel.
That means, bulbs/oil/brake pads etc only from the main stealer.
Boiler problem? Don't call your local plumber - call the manufacturer.

See where I’m going?
If I buy additional cables for my devices, they'll be apple branded, they're made for the device and manufacture supports them. but your comparison is not like for like....as in this case if i have a problem with a Apple product i will contact the manufacture not some 3rd party...if Apple provides the cables they will support them.
As Apple has created this type of environment to have everything under one roof.
 

shareef777

Suspended
Jul 26, 2005
2,445
3,272
Chicago, IL
Until such time as said cable destroys your $1200+ laptop, and Apple shrugs and says "where'd you get that cable?".
The smartass forum posters who brag about buying cables for $0.20 instead of $20 will not turn up to help you when it happens either.
Are you helping them pay for the $20 cable that's worth $0.20? As they noted, buy certified cables. Just doesn't have to be certified by Apple. Also, that language isn't necessary.
 

BeefCake 15

macrumors 68000
May 15, 2015
1,510
1,945
near Boston, MA
Anker has been great from my experience with their cables and chargers. I used to use Monoprice but have been discovering that their cable quality has been garbage recently with high failures.
 

H2SO4

macrumors 601
Nov 4, 2008
4,639
5,157
This was specifically at Apple products that came with their own cables and those using 3rd party instead. which also is relevant to macbook with USB-C cable. get the apple manufactured one to have better results as its made specifically for that device. I think you both blew it way out of proportion.




If I buy additional cables for my devices, they'll be apple branded, they're made for the device and manufacture supports them. but your comparison is not like for like....as in this case if i have a problem with a Apple product i will contact the manufacture not some 3rd party...if Apple provides the cables they will support them.
As Apple has created this type of environment to have everything under one roof.
Do what you like it’s your money to waste but the comparison stands. Tell me, have you ever owned a vehicle?
 

justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
10,837
6,487
I'm a rolling stone.
Why?
This is NOT about Apple, this is about certified USB-C cables, if you buy a certified USB-C cable from ANY manufacturer you're good to go.
-----------

Until such time as said cable destroys your $1200+ laptop, and Apple shrugs and says "where'd you get that cable?".
The smartass forum posters who brag about buying cables for $0.20 instead of $20 will not turn up to help you when it happens either.
Yeah i never understood why people choose to use 3rd party cables for an apple device, get the cable from apple. cheaping out on 3rd party cables that could damage your device or simply not work makes no sense, the cables from apple work and are covered. I don't even use the ones that came with the car charger from the 3rd parties too many issues or "this cable is not compatible"
This was specifically at Apple products that came with their own cables and those using 3rd party instead. which also is relevant to macbook with USB-C cable. get the apple manufactured one to have better results as its made specifically for that device. I think you both blew it way out of proportion.

If I buy additional cables for my devices, they'll be apple branded, they're made for the device and manufacture supports them. but your comparison is not like for like....as in this case if i have a problem with a Apple product i will contact the manufacture not some 3rd party...if Apple provides the cables they will support them.
As Apple has created this type of environment to have everything under one roof.

You just don't get it do you, as you can see I clearly mentioned "certified USB-C cable from ANY manufacturer"
Why should I buy an expensive Apple branded cable while there are cheaper certified alternatives, heck, they might even be of better quality, not that I had any problems with Apple cables until now but plenty of people have/had problems with them.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.