The Apple charging cables aren’t exactly famous for their durability. In fact, these charging cables often end up fraying a year or two, or sometimes even months into the purchase. Before you even know it, the charging cable breaks down to the point when you’re unable to charge your device and you’re left with the unavoidable need to purchase a new Apple charging cable. Moreover, the Apple charging cables also sometimes turn a sour shade of yellow, which is another big issue. Apple is reportedly working on a few ideas to make the cables more durable and fix these issues. To do that, Apple is filing a patent application for a ‘Cable with Variable Stiffness’.
Apple’s ‘Cable with Variable Stiffness’ patent could fix the cable issues
Apple’s patent application dated February 4, 2021, was filed by Apple on August 3, 2019. In the application, Apple has proposed to develop a strain relief sleeve made using a stiff material around the end region of the Apple charging cables.
The methods mentioned in the application will give different portions of the cable varying levels of stiffness while also keeping the cable uniformly thick. Apple could also replace the portion apple calls ‘strain relief sleeve’, the stiff cap that you’ll find at the end of many cables.
Patent signals at Apple looking to improve the Apple charging cables
In the patent application, Apple talks about developing a strain relief sleeve that is made from a stiff material around the end portion of the cable. The stiff material is expected to create a localized increase in the bending resistance, which will relieve strain on the wire connections.
The strain relief sleeve would help prevent the cable from fraying due to bends, which can be particularly helpful as cables are often sharply bent near the ends when plugging them in.
In reality, the sleeves will not actually stop the cables from fraying but Apple’s idea is that by varying the flexibility and stiffness cross the cable, it could theoretically protect better against fraying regardless of where you regularly bend it.
The patent application signals that Apple could be working towards fixing a long-criticized problem with the Apple charging cables. As of now, it is just a concept and it is still unknown when it’ll go into production. Moreover, it is worth noting that the patent doesn’t specifically mention ‘Lighting Cables’, so this could even be for Apple products.