Many of us, particularly owners of Apple products, will be all too familiar with dodgy frayed charger cables. You might even be using one right now.
Despite the fact that tatty cables with exposed wires are hazardous (both to your phone and to yourself), it seems like everyone has them, wrapped in electrical tape or bent around at the precise angle to make it work.
Often it takes just a few months for them to get to this state. Repeat purchasing phone chargers just seems like a fact of life. But does it have to be? And have you considered that they might be designed to break?
Whether through purposeful design or simple neglect, it’s clear that the big tech giants haven’t bothered to make their charger cables at all durable.
The shady practice of planned obsolescence can take many forms. If companies purposefully design something to fail, they can face condemnation, even lawsuits. But if a product is simply not well-made and breaks quickly, that’s harder to pin down.
We find it difficult to believe that in the last 10+ years since the first iPhone was released, Apple’s world-leading designers haven’t been able to come up with a tougher charging cable. It’s clearly more profitable to have customers replace them several times throughout their phone’s life cycle.
But as well as leaving consumers out of pocket, there’s an environmental cost too. E-waste is a rapidly growing global problem, and despite the majority of it being recyclable, only a small proportion is saved from being dumped. Small items like charger cables might not seem significant, but for that very reason, many don’t hesitate to throw them in the bin. With smartphone sales now in their billions, it’s easy to see how that starts adding up.
A cable made to last
Charger cables shouldn’t be disposable - so we went about finding one that isn’t. It’s called the Evercable. It’s a durable charger cable available in Apple-compatible lightning cable and Android USB-C versions, and it’s fast charging.
What distinguishes the Evercable from your run-of-the-mill charger cable is the tough stainless steel casing that protects the wiring. There’s absolutely no chance of this armoured layer splitting like a regular cable, and it’s tangle free.
We’ve been using these cables for months, and as well as strong, we found them to be satisfyingly weighty too. The smooth steel cladding of the cable gives it a slipperiness that makes it impossible to tangle up. We’ve carted them around from place to place without much care, and they’ve held up perfectly.
But don’t take our word for it - the Evercable’s manufacturers wanted to formally put their product to the test. Under controlled testing, this long-lasting charging cable was found to be functional after being bent over 60,000 times. Other cables failed after bending around 10-15,000 times. This included so-called ‘unbreakable’ cables which had braided nylon cladding.
This is precisely what the Evercable has been designed to withstand. Because the casing doesn’t easily allow itself to be sharply bent, the force is distributed across more of the cable’s length. This reduces the chance of it developing weak points, where the cable has been continuously bent in one particular spot. That, of course, is where your usual charger cable splits.
The Evercable’s manufacturers have absolute confidence in the long-lasting durability of their design, and offer a lifetime warranty on the cable shell. And just for our customers, we’ve also placed a three year warranty on the whole unit - so you can be assured that this cable will last.
How to look after your cable
A fraying wire is usually the first point of failure for charging cables, but of course it’s not the only way they can break. To make your Evercable - or any charging cable! - last longer, here are a few of our tips:
Dust and dirt can build up both inside your phone’s charging port and on your cable’s connector. Repeatedly forcing a connection when there’s too much gunk everywhere can cause damage to either piece of tech. Use a can of compressed air to keep your charging port clean - or for stubborn dirt, use a toothpick (very carefully).
If you notice a buildup of gunk on the gold contacts of a lightning connector, you can clean them off with rubbing alcohol and a cotton bud. This will help keep a good connection and prevent damage.
Keeping cables knocking around at the bottom of your bag is a surefire way to reduce their lifespan. Always try to transport them coiled up in a circle, with the ends tucked in, and inside a clean cloth bag.
When you unplug your charger or USB cables, avoid grabbing the cable and yanking it out. This causes stress to the wires inside. Always grasp the plug part at the end, and pull this instead.
If you’ve been inspired to make a longer-lasting choice, check out our other alternatives to repeat purchases. From umbrellas to earphones to school shoes, they’re all tougher products that you wouldn’t usually expect to go the distance.