APPLE IS the latest company to fall foul of the messy rollout of USB-C. The company has recalled a bunch of the cables that were official accessories sold separately or included with the most recent MacBook devices that eschewed USB=A and Lightning in favour of a single USB-C port for everything.
To make life a little more interesting, the affected cables don't have a serial number to identify them. In fact, their most identifiable feature is the lack of any code next to the 'Designed in California ...' maxim.
Cupertino has yet to specify the cause of the fault, beyond that it was one of "design", but with ongoing variability in the application of the USB-C spec there have already been reports of shonky wires that make your device fall down and go boom.
Maverick Android phone maker OnePlus offered customer refunds after issues with its own USB-C cables last year. They were designed to work perfectly with the OnePlus range, but could cause problems if used with other devices.
The difficulty is that USB-C is capable of providing power to a device, so it may, for want of a better phrase, fry things if it isn't carefully wired to the correct specs. Google engineer and USB-C crusader Benson Leung has been logging the merits of various third-party cables, and recently zapped his £1,000 Chromebook Pixel and two pieces of test equipment in the process.
Apple users with address details will be sent a new adapter automatically, while others can swap their dis-cords at an Apple Store or authorised dealer.
The roll out of USB-C hasn't gone well. Many early adopters failed to use the spec, or did not combine it with USB 3.1, meaning that the speed advantages are lost. Microsoft has also had to recall some cables.
Apple emphasised that the problem affects a small proportion of the two million cables manufactured so far. µ
Bad for shareholders, mildly good for the planet
YouTube on the Tube
Claims that it hasn't ever actually worked