Apple’s Patent Application Indicates That It Could Have a Solution for Fraying Lightning Cables


Apple has filed a patent application that could stop its lightning cables from fraying so easily. The patent is for a cable with variable stiffness that could solve this problem. Apple’s lightning cables have a reputation for fraying easily but the company could have found a solution, going by this patent. The Cupertino-company proposed ideas for a cable that won’t fray easily. In the patent application, it talks about a cable with ‘variable stiffness’ and admits that it is well-known that bending of the cable near the termination point where it goes into the phone could cause unwanted strain on wire connections, which could lead to cable failure.

The patent application dated February 4, 2021, was filed by Apple on August 3, 2019. It was first spotted by Apple Insider.

In the patent application, Apple proposes developing a strain relief sleeve made of a stiff material around the end region of the cable. This stiff material, it says, will create a localised increase in the bending resistance of the cable, which in turn will relieve strain on the wire connections. Apple also proposes extra thickening of cables overall. The patent application includes a design as well.

The patent signals that Apple is working towards fixing a long-criticised problem with its charging cables. However, this is just a concept right now and may or may not go into production. It is also worth noting that the patent does not specifically mention ‘Lightning Cables’ anywhere, so this could be a broader design for Apple products.

“A cable can include a cable core surrounded by an outer sleeve having a uniform thickness and further having a first longitudinal section having a first stiffness (e.g., corresponding to a flexible cable), a second longitudinal section having a second stiffness (e.g., corresponding to a rigid cable), and a third longitudinal section between the first and second longitudinal sections, where the second stiffness is greater than the first stiffness and where a stiffness of the third longitudinal section varies between the first stiffness and the second stiffness. The second longitudinal section can provide strain relief for the cable,” explained Apple in the patent application.

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