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article imageApple announces recall of potentially faulty USB-C cables

By James Walker     Feb 14, 2016 in Technology
Apple has announced it will be replacing USB-C cables supplied with its MacBook laptops that may be defective. The cables can break and stop working correctly due to a "design issue."
Apple launched the replacement program earlier this week. It explains that cables shipped with the first few batches of its redesigned MacBook range may fail and prevent the laptop from charging correctly.
The affected MacBooks were sold between April 2015 and June 2015. Defective cables can be identified by looking at the stamp imprinted into the end of the cable. The original cables have "Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China." impressed into them. The newer redesigned version includes a serial number after the text.
Apple will be offering a free replacement USB-C charging cable to all eligible customers. The program also covers people who purchased the cable on its own as an accessory as these may also be defective.
Identifying a faulty Apple USB-C cable
Identifying a faulty Apple USB-C cable
Apple
The company has not elaborated on the details of the "design issue", only saying "your MacBook may not charge or only charge intermittently when it's connected to a power adapter with an affected cable."
The recall is the latest in a series of issues that have affected the introduction of USB Type-C, the latest evolution of the ubiquitous USB standard. The exposure of several cables that fail to properly adhere to the specification has led to concerns that many products on the market may not be safe to use with current devices.
Manufacturers are beginning to incorporate USB-C into more of their smartphones, tablets and laptops but consumers may have a hard time trying to find a high-quality cable that works as designed. Earlier this month, Google engineer Benson Leung, responsible for discovering many of these mediocre cables, revealed how one such "dangerous" cable left his laptop unusable after connecting it to an accessory.
Generally, the faulty cables have used incorrect resistor values that are inappropriate for the device being charged. It is unclear whether Apple may have experienced the same issue with its first batch of USB-C charging cables, although a simple teardown of the connector could reveal the nature of the problem.
Apple has provided its affected customers with a hassle-free way to claim a free replacement cable. Registered MacBook owners who have already given Apple their mailing address won't have to do anything as the company will send a cable of its own accord before the end of the month. Everyone else, including purchasers of the accessory in standalone form, will be able to get a replacement by contacting Apple Support or visiting an Apple Store or Authorized Service Provider.
More about Apple, Recall, Replacement, Usb, usbc