Your power adapters and cables are an embarassment

If it was possible to ask every person who had to buy a replacement power adapter, as I just did, due to everyday normal wear and tear, you’d know that all of them walk out of their Apple Store feeling either angry, disappointed, frustrated, sad to varying degrees. And I assume that is not a feeling that you want associated with your brand. Please fix this.

Dear Tim,

Thank you for being the moral compass at Apple. If more business leaders learned from your example, the world would be a much better place.

Like you, I am very concerned about making my impact on the planet as sustainable as possible. All of your current environmental initiatives are admirable, but like everything at Apple, I’m guessing that iterating and continuously improving is also part of this department. I humbly offer a suggestion:

Redesign the power adapter and cables for your ALL of your laptop computers so they are far more durable and thus don’t end up in landfills, or wasting energy recycling them.

While admirable that you have removed PVC, BFRs and Phthalates from them, whatever chemicals you’ve replaced them with are still inferior in durability. Having millions of customers replace them with entirely new ones, every 2–3 years is FAR more damaging to the environment in terms of the amount of carbon and dead dinosaurs tied up in each replacement power adapter you sell. Everyone at the company should be embarrassed by the amount of revenue you generate for these SKUs. I treat all of my technology extremely carefully and even still, have had to buy replacements for all three of the laptops in my family that are no older than four years old. I have had professional grade audio cables that have been to hell and back, being used on stage by drunk musicians daily, that have lasted for decades.

And how should this be done? Very simply: Prioritize the effectiveness and function of the *strain relief* elements of all of your cables over the minimalist aesthetics and visual appearance of them. Yes, many people buy your products because of their beauty and form, but I guarantee every single customer that walks into an Apple Store to buy a replacement power adapter would choose a more durable one over a slightly better looking one. Yes, the new Macbook design is better by making the cable replaceable instead of hard wiring it to the AC/DC transformer brick, but this is a small percentage of your total laptop sales. The problem of strain relief and the durability of cables that are subject to frequent bending is unchanged in that USB-C cable, not to mention every other cable that you include with your products. As a designer myself, I know that every decision has tradeoffs, but in this case, Jony’s team has made the wrong call here.

I have heard you speak of customer satisfaction as a barometer for the company and it’s gotta be very difficult to measure and get data on everything. But if it was possible to ask every person who had to buy a replacement power adapter, as I just did, due to everyday normal wear and tear, you’d know that all of them walk out of their Apple Store feeling either angry, disappointed, frustrated, sad to varying degrees. And I assume that is not a feeling that you want associated with your brand. Please fix this.

idea: Music box programmable by parents

you know those toys that play a short song when you push one of five, differently shaped, differently coloured buttons? What if you could replace those sounds to whatever music you wanted? Or sound file? How could you optimize the experience of throwing a digital sound file onto it?