Not all USB to Lightning cables are made the same. Despite their premium price, the USB to Lightning cables Apple bundles in with their iPhones and iPads tend to fray or split after extended usage. I’ve already had two Apple Lightning cables that I’ve had to toss out because of this, like the one shown in the photo below.
In my experience, third party Lightning cables can be hit or miss. Not all cables work properly with Apple’s devices, despite the fact that many are advertised as being “Apple MFi certified”. In my experience, the biggest point of failure in Apple’s cable design are at the ends, where the wire joins the connector. This has been an issue with Apple’s cable designs for many years, across many models. (I’m looking at you, Macbook Pro power brick.)
While shopping for alternatives to Apple’s Lightning cables, I was clear on one thing: the new cables should come with durable, reinforced ends.
After much research, I placed an order for two Anker PowerLine Lightning cables, both red in color and 3 feet in length. Anker makes its PowerLine cables with Kevlar aramid fiber, which is heat resistant and strong. It’s also Apple MFi certified. As a bonus, the PowerLine cables come in various sizes (3 ft, 6 ft and 10 ft) and colors (blue, white, red, black). Both connectors include reinforced stress points to minimize point of failure. Unlike other cables, the Anker PowerLine models use Apple’s latest C48 connector, which ensures the faster charge time. As an added touch, each cable includes a small velcro cable tie. Each PowerLine cable sports an 18 month warranty. I picked my review units for about $9.99 each on Amazon.
Anker’s packaging is very simple and clean.
Inside the box is the cable and a small card.
As for the PowerLine cable itself, Anker’s Powerline cable is a little thicker than Apple’s, with a longer reinforced end on both sides. This reinforced end gives the PowerLine cable a better grip when inserting and removing it from the device.
For the past two months, I’ve made excessive use of the Anker PowerLine cables across all my family’s devices (a 2nd generation iPad Mini, an iPhone 6s and iPhone 6, an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil) and there are no issues to report. The fact that both cables are still intact after being in the hands of my daughter is a testament to the product’s durability.
With a reasonable price, durable build quality, an 18-month warranty, and Apple certified tech inside, there’s a lot going for the Anker PowerLine Lightning cable. In my opinion, it’s the cable Apple should have included in the box.
The Anker PowerLine cable earns 5 out of 5 Bob Weiners.