As someone both developing for iOS (and Android / Windows Phone) and teaching its programming, I have all the major iDevice models ever released. (But, naturally, not the different storage / 3G / color configurations in one model.) As I always carry many of these iDevices with me, I also need at least twice the number of cables. Let's also take into account that Apple's own cables have a tendency to break apart and the need increases even more. (Just Google for, say, iPhone cable breaking apart; an example thread with pictures HERE and HERE. Regarding the second one, note that some people with more accumulated reputation in the Apple support forums tend to defend Apple in every way possible and put the blame entirely on end users. Even in cases like this, where it's definitely Apple that sometimes produces pretty low-quality cables and it's not the users that mishandled the given product.) Apple's original cables having always been pretty expensive (and, again, of sometimes really questionable quality / durability), given that I sometimes need to purchase 10-15 cables a year, I've always tried finding cheap(er) alternatives to Apple's cables. At least when it comes to non-Lightning (old) cables I don't really trust third-party, unofficial Lightning cables. They may work today but who knows what happens tomorrow, after a firmware upgrade and possibly blocking these unofficial cables, making them entirely useless. Unfortunately, many of the third-party cables you can find on eBay / DealExtreme.com are of pretty bad quality, at least electronically. Some of them don't even recharge the iDevices the latter just state the cables can't charge them. These cables include for example some of the USB Charging Cable for iPhone 2G/3G (100CM-Length) that used to be sold with the SKU 24296 at DealExtreme.com. It's no longer on sale probably because of the extremely bad quality of these cables? Note that I've devoted a section to these cables in my previous, related article). The only cheap but still pretty reliable third-party cable I could find was New 2in1 USB Charger Cable Cord For iPhone 3 4GS iPad iPod Samsung/HTC/Motorola (an example listing is HERE), which, as opposed to 99% of the cheap cables, is able to charge iPads with the maximal about 2.05 Ampers. (This is the maximal charging current of the old charger shipped with all iPads before the iPad 4. The iPad 4 is coming with a 2.2A one.) However, it's VERY short. On eBay, some weeks ago, I've found some relatively new cables, both one-foot and six-feet ones, both advertised as capable of charging (pre-iPad 4) iPads at full Amperage - that is, around 2 Ampers (again, with the pre-iPad 4 chargers). Both cables are US$3.99 + postage; that is, still pretty cheap. Postage is between $1...$3/cable, depending on the length / number of cables you order. I've immediately ordered two one-foot and one six-feet at once. (For the record: HERE is the seller. Note that I in no way receive any kind of compensation from him for this article. Neither have I from the guys that sell the previously recommended twin cables. I'm pretty sure other sellers are also offering these cables. HERE and HERE are the two cables.) After receiving the cables, I've very thoroughly tested them, both recharging current- and synchronization speed-wise. The 6-ft cable As was easy to predict for anyone knowing the inherent problems of recharging iPads using long charging cables, this cable cannot charge the iPads at 2 Ampers. However, it's pretty close at around 1940 mA's, which is slightly higher than the average 1900 mA's of Apple's own, original, three-feet iPhone / iPad cables and only a bit lower than the charging current of the one-feet version of the same cable, charging around 2000 mA. Note that I've tested a bunch of Apple's own cables; the previous figure (1900 mA charging current) is the average. The minimum was around 1860 and the maximum around 1940 mA. (Note that these figures are a bit different from those in my previous article. The reason for this is that I used another charger during the tests with somewhat reduced power output.) The cable itself is considerably thicker than Apple's own (and thin) cables and also a bit thicker than that of the 1ft version. Nevertheless, it's still pretty flexible much-much more so than, say, the very stiff cable of Apple's old HDMI adapter or, to a lesser degree, that of the old VGA adapter. During my (very thorough) synchronization speed tests, it produced exactly the same results as Apple's own cables and the 1ft version. It transferred 5,541,579,932 bytes in five files in exactly 3m:10s on my late 2009 2.8 GHz C2D-based 17 MBP, transferring from the latest-and-greatest Vertex 4 256 GB SSD with all background tasks shut down, using the latest iTunes and OS X (Mountain Lion) versions. (I've measured all file transfer speeds twice with every single cable.) All in all, if you need a comparatively long cable and the somewhat (not much!) increased iPad recharging speed and cable thickness aren't an issue, you can safely purchase this cable it's well worth the price. The 1-ft cable (Note that, as has been mentioned, I've ordered two of these cables. I've tested both.) These cables are excellent when it comes to recharging the iPad: they use a charge current which is about 100 mA higher than Apple's own cables. That is, if you need the quickest possible iPad recharging and the one-foot length isn't a problem, you can safely get this cable. As has also been mentioned, another advantage of these cables, compared to the 6-ft version, is the somewhat reduced cable thickness. As with the 6-ft variant (see above), it doesn't seem to have problems with file transfer either: just like the 6-ft cable and Apple's own cables, it transferred the 5,541,579,932 bytes in 3 minutes and 10 seconds to the test iPad 3. What about iPhones? You only need high-quality, high-Amperage cables when recharging iPads. It's pretty futile to use a high-Amperage iPad charger to recharge iPhone or iPod touch models. The latter iDevices can only be charged with 1 Amper, which even (most of) the worst third-party cables can provide. For example, the considerably cheaper, 9-ft cables HERE, which are not only cheaper and longer, but also thinner and more flexible. What about the durability? Having only recently received them, it's too early to say anything about the durability of these cables. I'll surely report back if they turn out to be a lemon. Hope they prove to be better and more durable than some Apple cables.