Apple makes fantastic hardware – be it sleek laptops made from a solid block of aluminum or phones that combine surgical stainless steel with reinforced glass. Yes, they’re expensive, but in the eyes of fanboys – and naysayers to some extent – they’re well worth the price. One class of products in particular that has hurt Apple’s excellent reputation is cables. They fray. You break. You even once had a well-documented corrosion problem. However, it seems that Apple is finally trying to change a few things for good. At least on paper!
Apple cables may not suffer premature death if the patent ideas are implemented
According to a patent filed before the USPTO, the company is investigating the concept of Cable with variable stiffness across the longitudinal cuts. The patent was first discovered by the employees of Apple Insider and is about a design that is supposed to give the cable additional strain relief. Now users have pointed out a number of reasons why Apple cables are traveling to Belize in less than a year, but many people have suspected poor stress reliever design as the cause of their notorious flaws.
Apple’s patent does not specifically mention the word “fraying”, nor does it allow Apple to make a mistake, but instead talks about implementations that can improve the quality of cables. The patent explores several ideas with different stiffness for the materials, one of which describes an idea in which the cable strain relief is achieved without using an external relief or an increased cable thickness.
Apple is committed to improving the cable relief system without adding thickness
“It is known that bending the cable near the termination point can place undesirable stress on the cable connections, which can lead to cable failure. Accordingly, it is common to provide a strain relief sleeve made of a rigid material around the end portion of the cable. The stiff material causes a locally increased increase in the bending resistance of the cable, which relieves the wire connections ”, says the patent description.
However, this is a patent application with a wide range of ideas to test and experiment with, and it’s also very likely that, by the end of the day, none of them will turn out to be efficient or practical enough. This means that Apple doesn’t expect to bring a “revolutionary new cable” with sky-high durability and longevity, but it’s definitely a sign of the good things to come when the company is actually concerned about its cable’s bad reputation. Until then, you should probably stick with anchors, whose cables cost less and last longer.
I’ve been writing about consumer technology for over three years, having worked with names like NDTV and Beebom in the past. Aside from the latest news, I’ve checked out my fair share of devices that range from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices. I’ve also interviewed tech managers and appeared as a moderator on YouTube videos talking about the latest and greatest gadgets.