Thursday, March 21, 2013

Apple Lightning Connector- poor design?

Apple Lightning Cable Problem (top view)
We have had one Apple Lightning Cable in our home.  My daughter bought a 5th gen iPod Touch in December 2012.  The first cable was defective out of the box.  Fortunately, we live in a city with an Apple store. The exchange process was quick and painless.  We contacted Apple, took the defective cable to the Apple Store and walked out with a new one. OK, sometimes manufacturing defects happen, but a couple of nights ago, my daughter called me into her bedroom and showed me the cable had become worn near the end where it plugs into the iPod (the Lightning connector end). She has not abused it at all even though she is attached to her iPod about 16 hours a day.  I was pretty upset that after only three months of relatively normal, maybe heavy, use the cable had failed. We've had regular iPod usb cables last for years.

The good news is Apple's support was again fantastic.  The cable was covered under warranty.  I had a copy of my receipt and I had registered the iPod with Apple Support.  After a quick chat with a specialist, she set up an appointment for me at the Genius Bar just a couples of hours after our chat.  I took the cable back along with my receipt to show the serial number of the iPod and I walked out with a new one.  I'm wondering though is there a design problem with this cable.  And, like all Apple accessories, it's not cheap listing at $19.00.  My first thought was that we were going to have to buy a new one.  I did find out, before I checked on the warranty that MonoPrice makes one for less than 12.00. As of the time I'm writing this, they are sold out with an ETA of almost 2 months for the 3 ft white version and there is a limit of (5) per customer. That is another indication to me that there might be something wrong with this cable.  Why such a huge demand for something that ships with every new iPhone 5 and iPod Touch?  People might want additional ones, but I suspect a lot of them are failing.  Amazon also has one for $15.

AmazonBasics USB A to Lightning Compatible Cable (3 Feet/0.9 Meter)
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