Poor build quality of iPhone USB cable

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Mike777, May 2, 2010.

  1. Mike777 macrumors member

    May 1, 2010
    Hi guys n gals,

    The cable that goes from the macbook to the iPhone for charging or synching has been giving me electric shocks recently.

    Upon closer inspection, the cable end which joins the brick which plugs into the iphone has split, and is showing silver bare wires under it.

    Is this a known poor build quality? as I have spoken to a friend and it happened to him too, his one has bare bits near where the moulding is too...

    Do you have similar issues?
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    You should be able to go to an Apple store and just get them to give you a new one... FWIW, over the various eras of design ranging from my iPod 3rd gen's Firewire cable, the USB one that came with my first iPhone, and the newer USB design that came with my second iPhone (the one without the little push buttons that unlock it from the dock connector), I've never had one go bad in the six years I've been using them.
  3. Mike777 thread starter macrumors member

    May 1, 2010
    Thank you for the advice, I'll take the cable back in and explain as I really haven't had it very long.
  4. DMC-12 macrumors 6502


    May 16, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    In my opinion, the newer style iPhone and iPod cables are very cheaply made. I have had at least three iPhone cables fray in the same way that you described. I am very careful about how I handle them. I'm still using the cables that came with my 4th generation iPod and they show virtually no signs of wear.
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Apple may have switched suppliers in order to get the cables at a better price, solve a short supply issue,....
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Interesting -- they definitely changed the design at some point (the 3GS one doesn't have those little push buttons and the locking pins). It's a good idea to make sure you're pushing and pulling the cable to/from ports with the plastic body of the plug and not the cable itself.

    Anyway, if people keep having trouble with these (my 3GS one is fine so far), then Monoprice has $1.50 iPhone cables, and their quality is generally considered very good.
  7. VPrime macrumors 68000


    Dec 19, 2008
    London Ontario
    Very poorly made.

    My iPhone 3G cable did the same thing 1 or 2 weeks after purchase. I just lived with it though:eek:
  8. oHai macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2010
    My cable did the same thing, except it had come apart under the connector that goes into the iPhone. I never got shocked from it, but the interior wires were all frayed and exposed.

    I went to the store to get a new one (the girl there told me I could bring the broken one in for a replacement, but that was too much work), and the one I bought seems to have a much better build quality than the one that was packaged with the iPhone. It seems thicker and a little more solid. Weird.
  9. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    It seems to be more user error. Any cable can come apart if you pull on the cable instead of pulling the connector area.
  10. beige matchbox macrumors 6502a

    beige matchbox

    Mar 16, 2005
    Oxfordshire, UK
    A lot of apples connectors have poor stress relief, going back to the G3 powerbook power connector, which had no stress relief at all, I wold guess apple did this for aesthetic reasons...

    However, the more recent ones are much better, the dock connectors are pretty good, don't bend the cable at sharp angles near the connector, and unplug by pulling the connector not the cable and there will be no problem.

    Another thing to consider, if you have trouble not stressing the connector, you may want to look into a 3rd party one, a lot of them seem to have the more common stress relief built in.
  11. Mike777 thread starter macrumors member

    May 1, 2010
    I'm not some idiot who pulls connectors out by the cable. I always pulled it out gently via the brick. Most of the time it is plugged into my mac. It has become frayed purely by normal every day use, except it hasn't been many days!

    No one can deny this is simply a case of extremely poor build quality. Apple aren't immortal perfect gods, they do make duff things sometimes.
  12. simplymuzik3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2009
    Same thing with me, and it's happened to 2 of mine. I never pull from the wire either. I ended up just ordering a bunch of extra cables from monoprice. They're dirt cheap, and MUCH stronger than the one's that Apple ships.
  13. doug123mr macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2008
    Thank you

    Thank you to the folks who took the time to recommend a third-party cable vendor (Monoprice). I couldn't find where I ordered the 6' cable I put in our car, but it is so much sturdier than the Apple one that it is ridiculous. Apple has been doing lousy strain reliefs for a couple of decades, which is really a shame given all the waste. A bad power supply cable is also a fire hazard. (BTW I hope you have taken advantage of the Apple power supply recall. They did improve them slightly.)

    To whoever said it's all the user's fault -- well, if you give 'em the cable they can't break at one-fifth the price, everyone is happy. Regardless, I don't abuse cables; Apple's are inadequate (and expensive!) for most users. The reason is greed and an excessive focus on style (anyone else suffer with the iBook "yo-yo" power adapter?).
  14. mfuchs88 macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2011
    Yeah good call on the Monoprice, they're generally only selling pretty reputable and reliable products when it comes to their cables (audio, video, computer, iDevice, etc), all for a good price.

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