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I'm a total Apple addict, as you might tell.

$5 Knockoff Lightning Cables

It hasn’t even been a year and already my kids have managed to destroy all three of their iPad Lightening cables. Kids will destroy anything given enough time. All thing’s considered, I guess a year is a pretty good run.

The problem is, despite my repeated lectures to not do so, they insist on standing their iPads on the connectors when they’re plugged in and charging. This bends the cable and eventually breaks the wires inside the housing.

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I probably should have been replacing them as they broke, but most of the time if you gave them a wiggle or flipped them over, they would work. We played that game for months, but now it’s at the point where none of them work at all.

They’ve been borrowing my spare iPhone cable until I can pick up three new ones. (I keep one on my Mac and one in the car.) However, it’s almost impossible to keep 3 iPads charged at the same time using one cable. I figured they’d just have to hang in there until the weekend when I could swing by the Apple store and buy some new ones.

I have to admit, I wasn’t really looking forward to dropping $60 bucks on three new cables. That’s a pretty big nut to drop when you’re not expecting to. This weekend I wasn’t planning on dropping any more than $5 bucks on a gallon of milk.

I swung by the gas station to grab said gallon of milk and low and behold, what do I see at the front counter? $5 knockoff Lightning cables!

I’ve seen reports online from some people claiming that their knockoff cables don’t even work; or that Apple could disable them with a simple software update, but I figured it was worth the gamble if I could get 3 cables for less than the cost of one original.

I’ve seen some pretty good knockoffs in my day, but these look really legit. You’d really have a hard time telling one from the other unless you placed them side-by-side.

The knockoff is on the left.

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Once they’re side by side, you can see the subtle differences between Apple’s and the knockoff. Again, the knockoff is on the left.

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I plugged it into my iPhone 5 to test it out. I didn’t get the dreaded “Charging is not supported with this accessory” message. They’re good.

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Needless to day, they work on the kids’ iPads too. For now. Only time will tell how long these last. I don’t think we’ll get another year out of them. Being knockoffs, I don’t think they’ll withstand the abuse of 3 boys like the Apple ones did.

UPDATE: They didn’t even last a week!!!

They lasted all of 4 days! 4 days! I swear my kids aren’t savages!

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The one on the left broke the day I bought it. The wire torn away from the heat shrink tubing the first time my son removed the cable from his iPad. I secured the wire with some hot glue and then covered the whole thing with heat shrink tubing. Today, no more than 4 days later, he unplugged the cable again, and the connecter fell right off.

The one in the middle I think suffered a cat bite and is dead as a doornail. Can’t really blame that on being a knockoff. Still, my genuine iPhone cable (as well as my headphones) have suffered the occasional cat bite and have survived.

The one on the right pretty much just fell apart.

I figured for $5 bucks a pop it was worth the gamble. I though we’d get at least a few months out of them. I guess you really do get what you pay for!

There was only one thing to the real thing. I picked up 3 McCoys from the Apple Store. At $29 a pop, hopefully I get at least a year out of these. I splurged and bought the 2 meter ones this time. Maybe if they are a little longer, the kids won’t pull on them so hard to get them to reach from the wall to the bed.