Have You Ever Wondered Why The iPhone Charger Cables Break So Often or So easily? Finally Answered By Ex-Apple Employee!

Apple generally makes good quality products, but every Apple cable (macbook power, iphone headphones, iphone usb, etc) has fallen apart in just a few months. They pull apart near the connectors and then the wires begin to fray. Why are Apple’s cables/accessories such low quality?

And yes, these are Apple products (from the store), and not the cheap Chinese ones off Amazon (which ironically last longer than the Apple ones).

Like this one which is just starting to die.

iPhone Charger Cables

Here is what the ex-Apple employe has got to say about it –

” I used to work for Apple and interfaced with every division in the company, and I know EXACTLY why this happened. It has nothing to do with trying to get customers to buy more replacement adapters, but rather with the hierarchy of power at Apple.

But before I go into this, let me explain the engineering of a power cable. If you look at a power adapter cable for any non-Apple product, you’ll notice some plastic “rings” where the plug transitions to the cable. These rings are called a strain relief. The purpose of a strain relief is to prevent the cable from bending at a severe angle if you bend the cable at the base. The strain relief allows the cable to have a nice, gentle curvature if you tweak the cable instead of bending at a severe 90 degree angle. This gentle curvature prevents the cable from being broken through repeated use.

Now let’s look at the hierarchy of power at Apple. As with any company, Apple consists of many divisions (Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, etc.) THE most powerful division at Apple is Industrial Design. For those of you unfamiliar with the term industrial design, this is the division that makes the decisions about the overall look and feel of Apple’s products. And when I say “the most powerful”, I mean that their decisions trump the decisions of any other division at Apple, including Engineering and Customer Service.

Now it just so happens that the Industrial Design department HATES how a strain relief looks on a power adapter. They would much prefer to have a nice clean transition between the cable and the plug. Aesthetically, this does look nicer, but from an engineering point of view, it’s pretty much committing reliability suicide. Because there is no strain relief, the cables fail at a very high rate because they get bent at very harsh angles. I’m sure that the Engineering division gave every reason in the world why a strain relief should be on an adapter cable, and Customer Service said how bad the customer experience would be if tons of adapters failed, but if industrial design doesn’t like a strain relief, guess what, it gets removed.”

iPhone Charger Cables

In short summary what this guy says is that –

  • Apple engineers explained exactly how to make hardy cables, and
  • Apple Industrial Design gets the final say, and
  • They deliberately chose to make unreliable cables because they liked the way it looked.

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