Let’s get the facts out of the way first:
- I’ve owned two Lightning cables from Apple
- Both cables died after two years, almost exactly
- I’ve taken very good care of them and there’s no sign of external damage
- My wife owned one Lightning cable from Apple
- Her cable died after two years, almost exactly
- She’s taken very good care of it and there’s no sign of external damage
- I’m annoyed
I tried replacing the cables at my local Apple Store, but since we bought our phones through a carrier (and don’t have AppleCare) Apple refused to replace them. The carrier was — as expected — completely unhelpful, as we were just days outside of the mandatory two-year warranty required in Europe.
If just one of three cables had failed, I’d chalk it up to chance. Two, bad luck. But all three, and two on the same day after being purchased at the same time two years earlier? Let’s get to Googlin’.
Apple support forums are littered with complaints about failed Lightning cables. The cable scores just 1.5 out 5 stars based on 2026 reviews on Apple’s own US store. Here’s a sample of review headlines from the last week:
- "Worst Apple product ever made"
- "Improve Lightning Cable quality please"
- "Poorly made JUNK"
- "No good!"
The always excellent Wirecutter recommends an Apple MFi Certified Lightning cable from Anker that’s currently on sale for $7.99. That’s $11 and one cent less than Apple’s $19 cable of the same length, and Anker scores 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon based on 7,450 customer reviews. Here’s a sample of review headlines from the last week:
- "Great cable excellent quality"
- "GREAT CHARGER!"
- "If you had trouble with cables, try this one instead"
- "Five Stars"
- "So much better than the Apple One"
Five stories to start your day
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