How one user’s broken cables changed our entire testing processTopic: Tech Specs
Let’s start with a problem.
We’re at Ventev headquarters, inspecting the latest in a series of cables broken by the same person, all sent back with the same problem. We can’t quite figure out what it is that’s causing her to break all of her cables. We know they’re rigorously bend- and stress-tested (Apple tests its products to 90 degrees—we push it up to 120), but some mysterious problem with her usage in particular keeps her cables from surviving their expected lifespan.
Luckily, this veteran cable-breaker is the daughter of one of our Ventev employees. She allows a team of us to come to her house and observe her charging habits. However she charges—with a wall outlet, portable battery, laptop, or car charger—and wherever she charges—lounging in bed, sitting in a swivel chair, or standing by the kitchen counter—we see exactly what kinds of strain are placed on the cable in a real life environment. We ask questions, make observations, and stick around until—finally—we discover the perpetrator in the mystery of the mangled cables.
Back at the lab
This story is one of many about our quest toward perfection at Ventev.
Not every problem can be solved by observing family members and our products are always tested to rigorous standards before we send them out into the real world, so malfunctions are rarities. But that doesn’t mean we don’t take the same care when studying the devices that have malfunctioned. We dissect and inspect any returned cable, charger, or battery pack that comes through our doors in an attempt to make a stronger, better product. Sometimes it’s evident immediately. Other times, it can take some study to notice a trend. Every product counts.
As does every comment. For example, we heard from one woman who loved our powercell 3015 battery charger, but hated having to carry around a separate cable in her purse. Pulling from this input, we began making the same battery with an attached cable to make your day a little bit simpler—and the powercell 3015c was born.
Beyond this, here at Ventev we try our best to make your life easier and your devices run more smoothly. We’ve had questions about everything from downloading iTunes to the best place to purchase an overseas adaptor plug. Don’t hesitate to reach out with your questions and comments about our tech. Our products are great, but we’re always on a quest to get better.
So what happened with that cable problem, anyway?
In the end, we found the culprit. We noticed the user’s habit of sitting in a swivel chair and turning around to plug in her charger. As she did, she created strain on the cable by pulling it taught at this angle for extended periods of time. Doing this caused the cord to break at the solder points and have connection issues.
Now we’ve added a twist test to the long list of tests we put every Ventev cable through—something Apple also adopted around the same time. We found the problem and we’ve set out to apply better standards to every device we produce.
So file your warranty claim and send us your broken gadgets. You’ll get a new product, and the old one will help us get even better.