Don’t believe these iPhone Lightning cable myths

The market for third-party Lightning cables for the iPhone is massive, and it’s growing by the day. In fact, I don’t think a week goes by when I’m not sent a pitch for some new “wonder cable” that sounds too good to be true.

Problem is, that doesn’t stop people spending money on cables that just don’t deliver the goods.

In fact, the market is now getting so crowded that companies are resorting to out and out lies to try to make their cable stand out.

Here are some iPhone cable myths that are simply not true. I’ve also added a myth that is actually true, to a point.

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The indestructible cable – Myth!

Sorry, but nothing is indestructible. Sure, there are some strong cables out there – such as the Anker Powerline II and Powerline+ II line – where you can hang off the cable or even use it to pull a car.

Problem is, there are still plenty of other weak points, especially the USB connector and the Lightning connector (the genuine Apple Lightning connectors can be pretty fragile).

The other day I took delivery of a cable featuring a braided stainless steel cord that claimed to be super-tough, but the USB connector fell off as I took it out of the box!

Super-fast charging cables – Myth!

There seems to be two myths here. The first is that better quality cables can unlock faster recharging, and the second is that some cables feature some electronic ‘secret sauce’ that tricks the iPhone into charging faster.

Nope and nope. It is true that poorer quality cables can result in slower charging, or even no charging at all (I’ve even come across a cable that got hot as it was charging), but those are rubbish cables.

In terms of charging speed, the only thing that makes a difference (assuming you’re using a decent cable) is the charger and whether you are using USB or USB-C.

The cable Apple supplies is poor – Myth!

While I feel that the durability of the cable Apple supplies with the iPhone is not as good as it could be, and that replacements from Apple are eye-wateringly expensive, the cables themselves are the gold standard in terms of charging speed and performance.

If your cable is showing no signs of wear, keep on using it!

Long cables mean longer charging times – True… well, sort of!

You can seem to get Lightning cables in a variety of lengths, from about 6-inches to over 10-foot. But longer cables can mean longer charging times.

This is because the longer the cable, the higher the resistance of the cable. So, if you have a 6-inch cable and a 6 foot cable made with the same thickness wire (the internal conductors, not the exterior), then this will mean a higher resistance.

But, depending on the thickness of the conductors used, it might not have any noticeable effect on charge times. If the maker is trying to save money and using thin conductors, then you might see an increase, but if the manufacturer is doing their job properly then there shouldn’t be any difference in charge times.

That said, I wouldn’t go for a cable longer than 10-foot (I’ve seen longer out there), and only then if you buy a reputable brand (Anker or Amazon, for example). And I’d only use these cables where absolutely necessary, because long cables are a trip hazard and get tangled and frayed easily.

I’m also no fan of those retractable cables on a little reel.

What are your experiences with charging cables, Apple or otherwise? Let me know!

See also:

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