I'll try to keep this brief, but I'd really appreciate it if you hang in there with me, stick it out and see this through as I think it's a point that really divides opinion, and frankly, I'd love to know for sure. In fact, I actually need to know. So, recently, with my iPhone 4S and its tiny usb cable, I'd had enough. I could plug it in, and it wouldn't reach me anywhere. I may as well have nailed it to the plug or the laptop. I went searching around for something super-long, that would cover my needs. Now, I knew that Apple didn't offer this luxury, so I started looking at Belkin and Griffin cables. I have a Griffin case on my 4S, with a nice gap around the connector port, and I figured that there would be some sensible thinking going on there, and everything would slot together in sensible design. I'd get two. One for work, one for home because frankly the battery doesn't have a life of its own. Two Griffin XL 3metre cables (no plug) at the price of £20/$30 each. Well, what joy to find that not only did the Griffin cables not fit with the Griffin case still on the phone, as the plastic around the 30 pin connector on the lead is too big... but if you took off the case, the connector was wider than the phone even. It made for a whole task of always removing the case and having this lead that was overbearing in every way. Zero convenience, not to mention the fact that it didn't even slightly click into place in the phone. I would just slide out at will. Okay, really, stay with me. There might be prizes in it for you. So the cables went back. I've yet to get the refund. Anyway, I've been searching around, and I need a LONG lead. 3metres would be great, with one of those slim 30 pin ends, so it will just slip into my case, just like a regular Apple one does. Problem is, the internet has a couple of fairly short-in-length branded cables that are thick and tough and ready for when crocodiles attack just like some of the over-the-top third-party cases, but the cables just won't slip in through a case. They've been designed with their own company's ego in mind. The rest of the internet is flooded with REEEEEAAAALLLY cheapy cables to do the job. All the way up to the neon pink 3 metre ones made by some poor kids' tiny hands in the far east. Cheap and unbranded, yet sized perfectly. So here's the issue: I know little about electronics, wattage, ampage, current, mAh, danger, overheating, regulated, unregulated etc. etc. I was wondering, with some degreee of actual science in mind/applied here, how safe are those cheap cables? Are they a risk? Will they cause overheating? What's the deal? Are they perfectly good for the job? Avoid like the plague? Can they cause harm? Do they deliver too much current? (note how I have no clue, here). Do they damage gadgets? Risks? Danger? All in all... cheap iPhone 4S usb syncing/charging cables, we all know the ones... what's the story? Any opinions? / Facts? / Conclusions? All opinions welcome, feel free to highlight my stupidity if that works for you, also. Those with some hard science on the topic are more than especially welcome. As I say, hit me up with opinions or anything. ---------- Please note: I am talking only about the usb cables. Not any power units. I use the Apple plug or a Griffin one for that. I'm not sure I'd chance much else.