What to do with Frayed Lightning Cables?
How many iPhone and iPad owners wind up having a frayed USB lightning adapter with wires visible or protruding from the cable? One of my own Lightning cables ended up a frayed disaster after less than a year of being always plugged into a MacBook, and only used on a desk – not exactly demanding usage conditions – and I run into many others who have similar issues with Apple USB adapters for iOS devices. So, what should users do about the frayed cables?
There are a few obvious options for what to do about a frayed USB Lightning cable:
- Wrap the fraying Lightning cable in electrical tape and continue to delicately use it (this can work for a while, or not work at all, it depends on the severity of the frayed cable)
- Buy a new cable, either an official Apple cable or an Amazon brand Lightning cable
- Request a replacement from Apple – more on this in a minute
So, sure, you can wrap the cord in electrical tape or go with one of the truly goofy DIY methods to try and protect the cable by using a piece of a mechanical pencil, a friendship bracelet, or some other household junk, but that’s not much of a solution to what seems to be a fairly common complaint amongst iPhone and iPad owners.
Replacing the Lightning Cable? For Free?!
In the past when we and others have tried to get the frayed cables replaced for free by Apple, and while we reported about a 40% success rate, that may be changing now. In fact, you may be able to get a free replacement cable from Apple! iDownloadblog says that several of their authors have had success with getting torn or frayed cables replaced for free, simply by taking them to an Apple Store and asking:
“I showed him my Lightning cable and kindly asked if this was covered by my iPhone 5s warranty. He briefly looked at it and told me to wait a second as he walked away. He came back a few seconds later with a brand new Lightning cable, fresh off the store’s shelves.
No question asked. No warranty check. As a matter of fact, he didn’t even bother to ask for my name or anything. I walked out of the store with a new cable but also feeling very satisfied as a customer.”
The accompanying device under warranty may help, but as noted Apple didn’t actually check the warranty… so maybe this indicates a change in policy for handling the fraying adapters.
If you live near an Apple Store it’s certainly worth a shot to take it in and see if they’ll swap it out for free. But those of us who aren’t near a Genius Bar are still out of luck, either relying on buying new Lightning adapters or ordering the cheap knock-offs from the web or even the Amazon brand Lightning to USB cables and hoping for the best.
What has been your experience with fraying lightning cables? Did you just buy a new one or did you try and get a replacement from Apple? Let us know in the comments, and perhaps the rumored reversible USB cables will be a bit tougher, as they should be.