Opinion: It’s time for Apple to deliver on its Lightning cable’s ‘improved durability’

Phil Schiller iPhone 5 event Lightning cable Improved durability

When you think about easily damaged Apple products, a smashed iPhone display with a screen like a spider web probably first comes to mind. While I’ve never cracked my own iPhone screen in my four years of carrying one virtually everywhere and mostly without a case, I have had to replace the charging cable required to keep the iPhone juiced up more than enough times.

The classic 30-pin cable used on the iPhone 4s and prior certainly wasn’t the most durable cable I’ve ever owned, but the Lightning cable introduced alongside the iPhone 5 in 2012 has proved one of the least forgiving accessories I’ve ever needed to use, and that’s despite Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller touting Lightning’s “improved durability” when he introduced it.

You may not have the same experience, but there’s even a Tumblr dedicated to venting over broken Lightning cables, and that just shouldn’t be the case.

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Apple introduces MFi specs for Lightning cable headphones, support arriving in future iOS update

Beats-lightning

We’ve learned Apple has quietly introduced a new specification for manufacturers in its Made-For-iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) program that allows them to create headphones that connect to iOS devices using a Lightning connector instead of the usual 3.5mm headphone jack. Apple has not flipped the switch on the audio input support for Lightning cables and existing iOS devices, but it will release a software update in the future that will enable support in devices running iOS 7.1 or later. Read more

iOS 7 now blocking some third-party Lightning cables after earlier warning shot

warning

As we suspected when Apple added a warning to a pre-release version of iOS 7 that non-certified cables may not work reliably with iPhones, the launch version is actually blocking some of them from charging the phone. Certified cables contain a chip that allows them to authenticate.

We first spotted this in a Reddit post, and have since confirmed. The warning message itself is unchanged, but it’s no longer an empty threat – though as seen in comments, some non-certified cables are still working. Possibly ones that use cracked chips. The good news is that there is a workaround for others, but it’s not pretty …  Read more

3rd-party Lightning cable providers bypass iOS 7 check in new MFI Cat and Mouse game

We were the first to report that iOS7 notifies users that they were using non-certified 3rd party Lightning cables in iPhones and likely iPads and iPods as well. Apple currently still allows these cables to charge and sync data with iOS devices but if Apple can detect these cables, that means they could also disable iOS 7 from using these cables in a future version of iOS.

One third party company called iPhone5mod (coincidentally, the company that made the cable used to demonstrate iOS7 warnings in the images here) says it has a way around Apple’s warnings and theoretically around detection at all… Read more