Lightning (connector) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaHere are a few tips from 9to5Mac for owners, er, victims, of the oft-troublesome Lightning cables

1. "As a general rule, legitimately Apple-authorized Lightning cables don’t sell for less than $8; apart from Amazon’s cables, relatively few are less than $10."

2. "Grasp the hard plastic jacket, and only the hard plastic jacket, when connecting and disconnecting the Lightning plug."

3. "Don’t strain or kink the cable."

4. "Keep the pins clean and away from liquids of any kind."

A commenter adds: “One of the first things I do with a new Lightning cable is to wrap a piece of tape around the cable that extends from the ‘hard plastic base’. Helps with strain relief. Even ‘Scotch’ tape helps." Another commenter recommends electrical tape.

Read the full article for the details, and also consider another strategy, a weekend DIY project to strengthen your cable (ZDNet).

So what are your own cable-coping tips?

Considering that iPads and iPhones are major platforms for e-books—even if they tend to be from Amazon, rather than Apple—this topic is deep in TeleRead territory. Me, I’m going to try the Scotch Tape.

Of course, the ultimate issue here is, “Why does Apple charge so bloody much for its own cables, and why can’t we find better clones at reasonable prices?”


  1. There IS a clone, MUCH more substantial, and I think the price is the same or less. And you can find it at Radio Shack (at least I did within the last year . . no guarantee that its still available). The Apple version is a nightmare for even medium-duty use (in the car). The RS version is tough and reliable, at least it has been for me.

  2. These aren’t cheap, but I’ll be interested to see how well the snakables work. ( They come with extra, flexible armour joints around the part where cables usually snap. Like most tech products, I suspect the implementation will become better, less obtrusive and cheaper over time.

  3. Though I am certainly no fan of Amazon’s business practices, I an impressed with the two AmazonBasics Lightning cables I have.

    The Lightning-end of the cable seems easier to grip on my iPhone inside a bulky Otter Defender case and thus less likely to suffer from strain failures. That is why I use Amazon’s cable rather than Apple’s.


    That said, those two Amazon cables came from a thrift store. There are recent one-star comments on the Amazon webpage suggesting that Amazon has made the cable thinner and thus more likely to fail and also changed the connector size so it no longer works with popular Otter cases. I can actually tell from the picture that the cable in the current version is thinner.

    I don’t know how people can find the older and better version, but if enough people complain and warn others not to buy this new version, maybe Amazon will quit counting pennies and return to the old version. They had a good product. They should bring it back.

    And since Amazon claims their cable is Apple-certified, perhaps Apple might want to intervene.

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