This Apple product used to be terrible, but I now highly recommend it

Let's talk about an Apple product that used to be so terrible that I suggest people avoid them like the plague, but have now become so good that I highly recommend them.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Love the company or hate it, Apple is renowned for quality. But there was one Apple product that was terrible.

I am, of course, talking about iPhone charging cables.

I've lost count of how many I've repaired, and how many have crossed the rainbow bridge to Silicon Heaven. Now, they were much better than the cheap rubbish you can buy from online retailers such as eBay or Amazon, but Apple iPhone cables weren't good. They frayed, broke, and even seemed susceptible to corrosion.

Must read: Must-have Windows and Mac utilities get new features

However, for the past couple of years I've been using Apple's USB-C-to-Lightning cable for the iPhone, and I have to say that I'm impressed with them. It took a long time for official third-party USB-C-to-Lightning to appear, so some of my cables have been in use since early 2016.

And here's an odd thing -- none have broken. In fact, I've got one that I know has been in almost continuous daily use since 2017 that looks like new, and another that's spent all of its time in the car -- baking in the sun, freezing in winter -- that is also like new.

Troubleshoot iPhone problems

The connectors are good (with no signs of corrosion on the Lightning connector), the sheathing is still intact and not showing any signs of fraying, and it still works.

This is a huge improvement compared to the old USB-to-Lightning cables that would be lucky to last a year.

I've noticed a similar thing with USB-C charging cables for Macs. These seem to be far superior to the older cables found on MagSafe chargers.

But what about the regular USB-to-Lightning? I'll be honest and say that I haven't done much testing, but an Apple USB charging cable that I do use daily is the one that comes with the Apple Watch, and I've noticed that the charging cable that came with the latest Apple Watch 5 appears to be far more durable than the one that came with the Apple Watch 3. The latest cable seems to have a more robust sheath than the older one, and seems to be holding up better to daily use than the older cable. That said, it's not had as much use as my USB-C-to-Lightning, so I'm hesitant to jump to conclusions.

So, there you have it. After years of being on my naughty list, I'm now happy to recommend Apple's USB-C-to-Lightning cable. It's as good, if not better, than many of the third-party offerings. 

Anker PowerExpand Elite 13-in-1 dock - in pictures

Editorial standards