Decent iPad/iPod cables?
December 19, 2011 7:30 AM   Subscribe

Decent iPad/iPod cables? iPad and iPod usb cables infuriate me. The cables invariably fray at the connector junction, and the cable coating on several has simply disintegrated. Is there anywhere I can get solid iStuff cables that won't need replaced every 3 months? Preferably with some sort of reinforcement at the connector junctions? An Amazon search just gives me miles of what I presume is junk.
posted by monju_bosatsu to Technology (20 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I've never had one fall apart on me. What are you doing with these things? Are you leaving them in your car on hot/cold days or anything like that?
posted by griphus at 7:38 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

They do fall apart.

One way to avoid having them fall apart is to pull them only by the plastic section on the end, rather than via the cable themselves. They are crappily made and not very strong, especially if you put tension or stress on the non-plastic cable part.
posted by dfriedman at 7:42 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Not to pile on or anything but I also have never had any issues, I am still using the cable from the iPod I bought in 2005.

And I live near the sea where most of my other electronics etc corrode quite quickly.

(And to dfriedman's point - I never pull on the cables, only on the plastic connector bit.)
posted by HopStopDon'tShop at 7:44 AM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

One thought I've had, but which I have not tested, is to reinforce the ends of these cables with sugru.
posted by dfriedman at 7:45 AM on December 19, 2011
posted by unclejeffy at 7:45 AM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Monoprice link for the cables. Looks promising...
posted by dfriedman at 7:47 AM on December 19, 2011

Mine fall apart all the time, i think from twisting them. Same with power cables for my macbook.
posted by empath at 7:48 AM on December 19, 2011

Best answer: I'm also not sure if you're talking Apple brand cables or knock-offs that you've gotten elsewhere. I'm definitely in the same boat, every iThing I have is running on its original cables. If you are buying Apple branded stuff, you may want to consider just getting a ton of knock-off cables and figuring that whatever you're doing to them this way at least you'll pay less for cable replacement. I usually buy this stuff from ebay and figure at a buck a cable, I wouldn't really mind if I went through a few a year.
posted by jessamyn at 7:48 AM on December 19, 2011

Best answer: You can go into the Apple store (if you have one nearby) and get a free replacement. You might have to sweet talk them a bit, but apparently this is one of those things that is approved that a lot of people aren't aware of. I heard about it and a few months ago I took my frayed cord in and asked for a replacement. They asked how long I'd had it, I said a year, they gave me another one.
posted by cashman at 7:48 AM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Like you, my original Apple cables have started to fray, despite never being removed from my computer. I couldn't see anything that looked sturdier and was in any way a reasonable price, so tried a few cheapies from DealExtreme. These were the best of the bunch for me and you can buy quite a few for the price of a genuine cable.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 7:53 AM on December 19, 2011

One thought I've had, but which I have not tested, is to reinforce the ends of these cables with sugru.

I have done this (post-fraying) and it seems to work fine, although I only did it a couple of months ago so I can't speak to longevity. I used black, but they make white sugru now which would look better.
posted by yarrow at 8:07 AM on December 19, 2011

The DealExtreme stuff has lasted well for me, although so have the original USB cables. I always unplug by the base, not the cable. I've recently had to replace my power source for a frayed cable, though, so be gentle with that too!
posted by maryr at 8:33 AM on December 19, 2011

Mine dont fray, but my cat LOVES to eat iphone cables. I buy them for a buck on ebay. You could use a dock on your desk for less stress on the cable itself.
posted by Studiogeek at 8:34 AM on December 19, 2011

Best answer: Griffin Technology 3 Meter USB to Dock Cable Our USB-to-Dock-Connector cable is almost 10 feet long and built with heavy-duty 20-gauge conductors to handle the 10 watt power needs of Apple's iPad. Connect this cable to your computer's USB port to sync your iPad, iPod, or iPhone; or to any 10 watt USB power source and charge from 10 feet away.
posted by plokent at 8:40 AM on December 19, 2011

Curiously, the expensive, heavy duty cable I bought for the car broke. The white Apple ones last forever — anyone want a FW->iPod cable circa 2005?
posted by scruss at 8:50 AM on December 19, 2011

I've mentioned this before but Apple has gone through at least 3 different styles of iOS connector cables. At least one of them was complete crap and failed without provocation. The other two seem to be alright. If you believe they're all crap then purchase a bunch from monoprice and replace them as they fail.

It's possible you're having failures due to cable twisting so you might want to try the retracting variant which is a flat cable and can't be retracted when twisted.
posted by chairface at 9:56 AM on December 19, 2011

If your iPod/iPhone/iPad device is still under its warranty or you purchased AppleCare for it, Apple will replace the cable for you unless the fraying appears to be be caused by the customer willfully doing it wrong or it has cat/dog teeth marks on it.

sidenote: Same with power cables for my macbook.

If you have the old T-styled MacBook Connector and there's fraying, Apple will replace it even out of warranty with the new style connectors for free.
posted by birdherder at 10:21 AM on December 19, 2011

Nthing they will replace them for you free at the Apple store. Only once of about five times did I tell them I had Apple Care and they did not verify it. Every other time they didn't even ask, just replaced my earbuds or charger cord. Give it a shot, and try a different employee later if you do happen to get a no.
posted by catatethebird at 6:24 PM on December 19, 2011

Also, they replaced a pair of ear buds my puppy ate no questions asked. I jokingly said "As you can see, completely normal wear and tear," and the guy smiled and said "Puppy?" and gave me new ones. I'm sure it depends a lot on the employee.
posted by catatethebird at 6:28 PM on December 19, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. It sounds like a lot of people have this issue and the best solution may just be to buy a bunch of cheap replacements to have handy. I may try a heavy duty cable like the Griffin if the replacements are even worse than the originals. :)
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:13 AM on December 20, 2011

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