Everyone knows that the Lightning cable that comes with the new iPhone is not very good quality. The white stain gets dirty very quickly and the material (TPE) tears with a lot of bending, twisting and normal daily abuse.
The Lightning cable comes free with the new iPhones and Apple sells it separately for $19. But did you know that Apple actually makes a better, higher quality Lightning-to-USB-C cable?
It also surprised me when I unpacked my M1 iMac last year and found a file braidedA color-matched Lightning-to-USB-C cable for connecting Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Keyboard. This Lightning cable is the best Lightning cable Apple has ever made.
The Lightning cable is braided, which means that the outer fabric layer protects the inner layer from easily tearing and fraying. I’ve bent and curled this special Lightning cable every day for a year now and it looks as new as it did when I got it last April. This Lightning cable is Nice And as good as the fabric-covered cable you find on the HomePod and HomePod mini, the magnetic power cable that connects to the M1 iMac itself, the MagSafe USB-C cable on the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro, and the Thunderbolt cable that comes with the Studio Display.
Just look at this gorgeous, good Lightning cable:
So why the hell doesn’t Apple sell a very good Lightning cable? I have no idea. I can understand why they don’t have a more durable cable with iPhones – so Apple can sell you a new one when it breaks. But why not sell them separately then?
I have contacted Apple, but have not received a response. Although Apple should really. People will buy crap from this as they did the official Apple polishing cloth.
I’ll be using my M1 iMac Lightning cable forever and ever, but if you don’t have the all-in-one desktop to get one, there are other ways to get one.
Official Apple devices with braided Lightning cables
The following Apple products come with a Braided Lightning-to-USB-C cable:
So actually, the cheapest way to get a great braided keyboard is to get a Magic Mouse, which comes with a white braided Lightning-to-USB-C cable. The next cheapest will be the Black Magic Mouse, which requires an additional $20 premium for a black braided Lightning cable; Or get a Magic Keyboard.
High quality lightning cables
There are also third-party alternatives. It was not made by Apple. But they work and are as (if not more) always the same. I can vouch for both below, one from Anker, Amazon Basics, and Mophie. Anker products are well made and really affordable.
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These two high-quality braided Lightning cables are very cheap because the other end is USB-A, which means iPhones cannot be charged quickly even with a high-powered charger; They also cannot connect to recent MacBooks released in the past seven years without a dongle. To quickly charge supported iPhones, you’ll need a Lightning to USB-C cable. These are reasonably priced from reputable brands like Anker as well. Just not cheap. Here is the thing I like – the cable is not braided but the wire cover is stronger.
Anker also sells the Powerline III version of the cable above that we recommended in our wiring guide. Anker declares her “as old as 25,000 heathens.” Powerline II only supports up to 12,000 bends.
iMovie makes a great one, too. It’s more expensive, but the cable is thicker AF.
Seriously, Apple, sell your cool Lightning-to-USB-C cables separately. I demand it. We demand it. This thing rules!