Amazon Bans Sale of Potentially Dangerous USB-C Cables

by

Amazon has tightened restrictions on the sale of USB-C cables and adapters on its online store in an effort to protect customers from risky substandard products (via The Verge).

The online retailer added non-compliant USB-C cables to its list of prohibited items, following a flood of potentially damaging third-party cables onto the market. The new note on Amazon's page of undesirables prohibits "any USB-C™ (or USB Type-C™) cable or adapter product that is not compliant with standard specifications issued by 'USB Implementers Forum Inc.'"

The update was spotted by Google engineer Benson Leung, who has been testing USB-C cables sold by Amazon in an effort to highlight the risks of non-compliant products. Leung was spurred into action after a USB-C charging cable he bought destroyed a Chromebook Pixel he was working on in compatibility tests.

USB-C MacBook
Apple introduced the USB-C standard to its Mac range with the release of the 12-inch Retina MacBook. The new standard allows charging, data transfer, and video over a single connector. As a result, USB-C cables are capable of carrying a lot more power than traditional USB connectors, making faulty units a risk to computers and power supplies, and potentially a fire hazard.

Apple states in a support document that the 12-inch MacBook will charge from USB-C power adapters not manufactured by Apple if they adhere to the USB Power Delivery specification. Based on Leung's extensive testing, 30 percent of third-party USB-C cables currently available do not meet USB-IF standards. Apple's USB-C ports are designed to shut down if a larger-than-expected amount of power is detected flowing through cables, however Amazon's ban should mean cables that can damage or shut down a device will no longer be offered through the site.

Apple suffered its own USB-C problems when a "design issue" in charging cables shipped with certain Retina MacBooks failed to supply sufficient charge when connected to a power adapter. Apple is providing new, redesigned USB-C charge cables to MacBook owners with faulty cables at no cost.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
55 months ago

Buy Apple cables only people, until Apple do some sort of 'MFI' for USB-C or something.

Why?
This is NOT about Apple, this is about certified USB-C cables, if you buy a certified USB-C cable from ANY manufacturer you're good to go.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
55 months ago

Buy Apple cables only people, until Apple do some sort of 'MFI' for USB-C or something.

Nonsense. USB-C needs no MFI. Or, Apple tax. Be an educated consumer before you post bollocks.

USB-C is a mechanical specification that must comply with the USB-IF specification for power delivery. Independently of its mechanical characteristics for power delivery, USB-C cables are data-rated to either USB 3.1 (10 Gbps nominal), USB 3.0 (5Gbps nominal), and of course legacy USB 2.0.

My suggestion: Buy cables from monoprice.com. Their select series cables are the bees knees at great price. (No links with them, just a happy customer.)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
55 months ago

Until such time as said cable destroys your $1200+ laptop, and Apple shrugs and says "where'd you get that cable?".
The smartass forum posters who brag about buying cables for $0.20 instead of $20 will not turn up to help you when it happens either.

Are you helping them pay for the $20 cable that's worth $0.20? As they noted, buy certified cables. Just doesn't have to be certified by Apple. Also, that language isn't necessary.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
55 months ago

Buy Apple cables only people, until Apple do some sort of 'MFI' for USB-C or something.

This is not about Apple cables or cables for Apple laptops. Its about genuine certified USB-C cables used to power other laptops as well as Apple laptops.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
55 months ago

Until such time as said cable destroys your $1200+ laptop, and Apple shrugs and says "where'd you get that cable?".
The smartass forum posters who brag about buying cables for $0.20 instead of $20 will not turn up to help you when it happens either.

He specifically recommended CERTIFIED cables.
Speaking of cable quality, Apple is far from the golden standard.

I'd rather get a well built (maybe less beautiful) third party cable that is certified and sturdy.
Probably at the same price, maybe less, but at least it's safe and doesn't break after 6-12 months.

Glassed Silver:mac
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
55 months ago

I'm sorry, but it has to be said...USB-C is a disaster.

No way. It's amazing that everything has the potential to use one port... It would just be nice if the MacBook had two of them instead of one. However, that is an Apple design issue, not an inherent problem with USB-C.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple's First MacBook Pro With a Retina Display Will Become 'Obsolete' in 30 Days

Monday June 1, 2020 7:50 am PDT by
If you are still hanging on to a Mid 2012 model of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display, and require a new battery or other repairs, be sure to book an appointment with a service provider as soon as possible. In an internal memo today, obtained by MacRumors, Apple has indicated that this particular MacBook Pro model will be marked as "obsolete" worldwide on June 30, 2020, just over...

Five Mac Apps Worth Checking Out - June 2020

Tuesday June 2, 2020 2:25 pm PDT by
Apps developed for the Mac often don't receive as much coverage as apps designed for iPhones and iPads, so we have a series at MacRumors that highlights interesting Mac apps that are worth taking a look at. This month's apps are designed to make working from home a little bit easier. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Meeter (Free) - Working from home often...

Apple Music Joins Music Industry's Blackout Tuesday Awareness Campaign

Tuesday June 2, 2020 1:31 am PDT by
Apple Music has cancelled its Beats 1 radio schedule for Blackout Tuesday and is suggesting that listeners tune in to a radio stream celebrating the best in black music. Blackout Tuesday is a campaign organized by the music industry to support Black Lives Matter after Minneapolis citizen George Floyd was killed by police in the course of his arrest. On launching Apple Music, many users...

Next Apple Pencil Could Be Released in Black

Tuesday June 2, 2020 10:25 am PDT by
The next iteration of the Apple Pencil could be available in black for the first time, according to leaker Mr. White who shared the tidbit on Twitter this morning. A mockup of an Apple Pencil in black We haven't heard rumors of a next-generation Apple Pencil and it's not clear when a new model might be released. Apple is rumored to be working on mini-LED versions of the iPad Pro, and it's...

iPad Pro With A14X Chip, 5G, and Mini-LED Display Expected in First Half of 2021

Wednesday June 3, 2020 6:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to launch new iPad Pro models with an A14X chip, 5G connectivity, and a Mini-LED display in the first or second quarter of 2021, according to the increasingly reliable Twitter account L0vetodream. The leaker claims that the new iPad Pro models will be equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X55 modem, which supports both mmWave and sub-6GHz. mmWave is a set of 5G frequencies that...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.5 Supplemental Update With Security Fix

Monday June 1, 2020 10:56 am PDT by
Apple today released a supplemental update for macOS Catalina 10.15.5, the fifth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October 2019. The supplemental update comes a week after the release of the macOS Catalina 10.15.5 update. ‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.5 is a free update that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the System...

Tim Cook Addresses George Floyd's Death and Ensuing Protests and Riots as Apple Temporarily Closes Some U.S. Stores

Sunday May 31, 2020 8:04 pm PDT by
Amid unrest in numerous U.S. cities following last week's killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, Apple CEO Tim Cook has shared an internal memo with employees (via Bloomberg) addressing the pain that many are feeling and urging others to commit "to creating a better, more just world for everyone." Cook also announced that Apple is making donations to several groups challenging...

iCloud Down for Many Users, Causing 'The Application You Have Selected Does Not Exist' Error [Update: Fixed]

Tuesday June 2, 2020 4:44 pm PDT by
iCloud appears to be down for many people at the current time, based on complaints from MacRumors readers and Twitter users. Apple's system status page was not initially displaying an error when the problems started, but has been updated to confirm an issue with iCloud account sign ins. The support site says that some users may be unable to sign in to their iCloud accounts and may also be...

iOS 14 Again Said to Be Compatible With All iPhones Able to Run iOS 13

Monday June 1, 2020 2:08 pm PDT by
iOS 14 will be compatible with all iPhones and iPod touch models able to run iOS 13, according to information shared today by Israeli site The Verifier. The compatibility data was allegedly found in a leaked version of iOS 14 and confirmed by what The Verifier says is a "trusted source from the system development process." iOS 13 is compatible with the iPhone 6s and later, with a full...

iPhone 13 Prototype Mockup Depicts Notch-Free Design and USB-C Port

Thursday June 4, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
We still have a few months to go before Apple unveils the iPhone 12, but rumors about the iPhone 13, coming in fall 2021, are already circulating. Japanese site Mac Otakara today shared a rough 3D printed mockup of a 5.5-inch iPhone said to be coming in 2021, which is from "Alibaba sources." The model may be built on leaked specifications and rumors, but where the info comes from is unclear. ...