Apple Lightning Charger cable that won't wear out in a few weeks?
August 22, 2016 9:06 AM   Subscribe

When I got my iPhone, it came with a Lightning charger cable that went almost a year before I had to hold it at a certain angle in order to keep my iPhone charging. I have bought various replacements on eBay that appeared to be genuine, but got the same problem MUCH quicker with these. Is there anywhere I can get an actual genuine cable that will last, without paying a fortune?

These don't appear to be physically wearing out, but I end up having to pull the cable at an angle to keep it charging. The iPhone port itself is fine as far as I can tell.
posted by Slinga to Computers & Internet (23 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I have had good luck with the (Apple certified) Lightning cables from Monoprice, at under $10 each (example 1, example 2).
posted by zebra at 9:12 AM on August 22, 2016

I have an Amazon Basics lightning cable that seems even sturdier than the Apple brand one, although admittedly I haven't had it for a year yet. But it's pretty inexpensive. If by "actual genuine" you mean Apple brand, then no, I don't think so. If it's claiming to be an Apple cable but it's cheap then it's probably a knock-off.
posted by Kriesa at 9:14 AM on August 22, 2016 [5 favorites]


I had this problem. It's been a year+ since I bought an ANKER cable. I don't have this problem any more. Also, they're inexpensive!
posted by jbenben at 9:14 AM on August 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

I had the same issue with cables (I even have a similar Ask in my history). For a while, I just bought similar Monoprice cables and treated them as more or less disposable.

The last year or so, I've had a Tylt Ribbon charger, whose flat cable design seems to handle that kind of use/abuse better than a standard cable. Those chargers are also 4.2 amp, which makes them crazy insane fast at charger. I'm a huge fan of theirs and a large percentage of people who ride with me in my car ending up buying Tylt chargers, too. They're $40, but I've never had to replace mine.

Monoprice also makes a flat lightning-to-USB cable for just $8.49. That might be a cheap middle ground.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:15 AM on August 22, 2016

I have both Anker cables and Amazon Basics cables. I've found them both to be much more reliable (and longer-lasting) than the cheap cables I've gotten elsewhere. They occupy the middle ground in price between the super-cheap cables and the (pretty overpriced, I think) Apple cables. In quality, I see no difference between them and the Apple-made ones.
posted by Betelgeuse at 9:18 AM on August 22, 2016

I second the Amazon Basics chargers. I've bought several, and they held up much better. All are still working great, in fact.
posted by jhope71 at 9:19 AM on August 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Another vote for Anker or Amazon Basics. Both are inexpensive and well made.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 9:22 AM on August 22, 2016

I've found the Anker Powerline Lighting cable to be much more durable than the Apple or Amazon Basics cables.
posted by nicwolff at 10:08 AM on August 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I got a pair of the Amazon ones. Thank you for all the help, folks.
posted by Slinga at 10:20 AM on August 22, 2016

Consider that it may be the socket on the phone, not the cable(s), that's the problem. It's hard to see inside that tiny slot.

Seconding Amazon Basics.
posted by JimN2TAW at 10:23 AM on August 22, 2016

If you find yourself having to hold the cable at a certain angle for it to charge, then the issue may be the lightning port on the phone itself - it's very easy for dust and pocket lint to collect inside of it. Try cleaning out the port with a small, soft brush. If there's a REALLY stubborn dust bunny in there, dislodge it with a sharp toothpick, but be VERY careful not to scrape or bend the connector pins. Hope this helps!
posted by tantrumthecat at 10:24 AM on August 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Definitely check for lint in the port. Even a small amount can mess with the Lightning connector.

(I like the Monoprice cables myself.)
posted by neckro23 at 10:38 AM on August 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Amazon ones are superb. Have multiple copies in different lengths because they're so affordable and worth it.
posted by Hermione Granger at 10:46 AM on August 22, 2016

Definitely check the socket for lint. You'd be aghast at how much lint you can pull out of there with a paper clip (not recommended, but I live on the edge).
posted by General Malaise at 10:49 AM on August 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

The only caution that I have about non-Apple cables is that the plastic body of Apple's cables are only as wide as the actual connector, where many non-Apple cables have a bigger plastic body.

This makes is easier to grab hold of them, but it also means that they don't fit in some cases (I am glaring at you, OtterBox Defender) without grinding, carving, or other debridement to make that plastic body quite narrower -- and there's no guarantee the thing's integrity won't be fatal compromised. :7( Grrrr.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:09 PM on August 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Get a flashlight and a toothpick and scrape out the lint in the charging port. Actually get in there don't trust your eyes. (My husband didn't believe me for over 6 months when I told him the lint in his phone was the problem with charging - he said he looked - until I literally grabbed his phone and a flashlight and started taking chunks of lint out.)

Anyway. Do that first. I also like the Amazon Basics charging cord if you actually need one.
posted by Crystalinne at 12:20 PM on August 22, 2016 [4 favorites]

Definitely the lint thing. Found half a carpet in my phone, where I'd previously blamed the cable. I still run the original lightning cable from my first iPhone 5 from my computer, and a Sony bedside clock with the same by the bed (and the original 30-pin cable from my first iPad for that). The apple cables shouldn't die, and you should go get it replaced if it does.
posted by tillsbury at 2:03 PM on August 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Am I just insanely lucky? I've NEVER had an Apple cable go bad, either pre- or post-Lightning. And while I don't travel much anymore, for a while there I was on the road nearly full time, which creates a much more intense duty cycle for cables and chargers.
posted by uberchet at 2:57 PM on August 22, 2016

Response by poster: There were a few tiny bits of lint in there, but nothing serious. My case has a little rubber piece that covers the charger port, so it doesn't really accumulate much.
posted by Slinga at 3:34 PM on August 22, 2016

posted by mlis at 8:33 PM on August 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

I've been reasonably happy with my Anker cables so far. And not very happy with the Amazon Basics cables before them, which are better than a lot of cheap crap, but fairly short lived.
posted by wotsac at 9:45 PM on August 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

In my experience, Amazon Basics cables don't last as long as Anker.

Get the Anker.
posted by oblique red at 8:16 AM on August 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've decided (for myself) that it's a fool's errand to try to find the cable that won't fail in some way. I've tried plenty. Instead, I now buy the one that's most easy/least drama/least stress to replace under warranty when it fails. For me that's Amazon.
posted by Salamandrous at 4:35 PM on August 24, 2016

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