Having to replace a damaged charging cable is a nuisance in modern life, but Apple seems to have a solution to this common problem of charging cables that are more stable and less prone to damage.
The company wrote in Order Patented “cable with variable stiffness”: It is well known that bending the charging cable near the end point may cause unwanted stress for the wired connections, which may lead to cable failure.
She added: It is common to provide a pressure relief cap made of solid material around the end area of the cable, and the company notes that increasing the thickness of the pressure relief cap may not be desirable in some cases, so it is exploring a different approach.
Besides making the cables generally thicker, she suggests extending the stress relief cap beyond the two ends, and one way to do this, according to the deposit, is to have varying levels of stiffness across different length sections.
According to the filing, the cable includes a flexible section, a rigid one, and a third section somewhere in between, and Apple says: The last section can relieve stress on the ends of the cable.
The majority of the patent application describes the various possible materials and also attempts to determine the stiffness through the minimum bending radius, which is defined as the smallest radius at which a cable can be bent without twisting, which is a well-known measure of cable stiffness.
The minimum bending radius can be determined in relation to the cable diameter, the increase in the bending radius corresponds to the increase in the stiffness, and depending on the particular cable design, the minimum bending radius may be 8 to 12 times the cable diameter.
The patent application is attributed to seven inventors, including (Christopher Graham) Christopher Graham, whose previous related work includes patents granted in relation to the protection of multi-coil wireless power transmission systems.
It is mentioned that filing a patent application does not guarantee that Apple is moving to strengthen its cables, nor does the company include the word Lightning in particular anywhere in the filing.
However, the filing indicates that Apple is taking the idea at least somewhat seriously, so we might ultimately have stronger Lightning and MagSafe charging cables.