ingenious design

Why Didn’t Anyone Think of a Right-Angled iPhone Cable Sooner?

No more awkward gameplay. Photo: Courtesy the retailer

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on the Strategist in September 2018, and nearly two years later, it remains an example of a product that does what it’s supposed to do — exceptionally well. So we’re republishing it today as part of Ingenious Design Week.

You know the white Apple cord that came with your iPhone? The one that’s frayed and on its way to a junk drawer somewhere? It doesn’t have to be that way. The problem with most lightning cables is that inevitably the part of the cable that meets the connector gets destroyed from bending, which is pretty much bound to happen unless you’re charging your phone from some power source directly below or behind you (and when is that the case?). While different cables try to solve the problem by protecting the bendy point, what would really do the trick is a lightning cable that’s already bent at a right angle, like the Aukey lightning cable.

Measuring just over three feet, the Aukey, too, has a braided nylon exterior, which means that the cables have been rated to last more than 10,000 bends. That would allow you to bend your cable ten times a day (though I can’t imagine why you would need to) every day for nearly three years. I can’t imagine why you’d need to because Aukey has incorporated one exquisite design detail that eliminates bending period.

Unlike USB and lightning plugs that stick straight out, the Aukey connector and USB plugs jut at a 90-degree angle. That means that if you’re charging your phone while, say, playing a phone game, you’re not catching your palm on the cable and bending it. It means that if you’re lying in bed watching the universe explode on Twitter, you won’t be folding the cable while it rests on your stomach. And if you’re driving in your car and charging your phone from a cup holder, you won’t have to read your notifications upside down at the stoplight. I’ve replaced all my lightning cables with the Aukey and haven’t looked back. I only wish they came in white.

More Strat-approved lightning cables

Another problem with lightning cables is that they’re too short, but writer Alison Freer found a superlong ten-foot version: “For two years, I’ve used it every single day. In my house, I’ll drag it along everywhere I go. I can lie on any end of the couch and still charge my phone, or lie all the way down in bed (rather than awkwardly perch on one elbow next to the power strip), or even just ride in the back seat of a car with the phone plugged into the cigar socket and still use my phone while charging it. (Why are power outlets always located in the least convenient places possible?) Two full years of heavy use later, it hasn’t split, torn, bent, or even started to fray — and I’ve yanked, twisted, stretched, and dropped it repeatedly.”

Or how about a retractable version? This one comes highly rated on Amazon: “Perfect travel-size charger! I love that the cord can’t get caught up with other cords in my bag — my headphones have one of those cord keepers you wrap the cord around, it always comes loose and gets tangled with my laptop charging cord. But this phone-charger cord never gives me issues.”

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Why Didn’t Anyone Think of a Right-Angled iPhone Cable?