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Amazon US bans rogue USB-C cables

BBC News BBC News 30/03/2016
USB-C cables are reversible, but poor quality models have caused problems for some users © BBC USB-C cables are reversible, but poor quality models have caused problems for some users

Amazon has updated its rules governing the sale of USB-C cables in the US, saying only fully compliant products will be stocked on the site.

The update to a list of prohibited listings now includes "any USB-C (or USB Type-C) cable or adapter product that is not compliant with standard specifications".

Google developer Benson Leung noticed the change.

Some USB-C cables can damage devices or fail to charge them properly.

"Really great news, but we all have to continue to be vigilant and call out any bad products we find on Amazon and other stores (both online and brick and mortar) as we find them," wrote Mr Leung on Google+.

Amazon's rules, which refer to standards set by USB Implementers Forum, Inc., apply to any merchant selling items through its Amazon Sellers programme.

It's extremely unusual for modern hardware to be physically damaged due to connection issues, according to IHS analyst Ian Fogg.

"Fortunately, because few smartphones and laptops use the new USB-C design cables this risk of using cables which do not meet the USB-C specification, and which cause damage, has been limited to a relatively small number of consumers," he told the BBC.

"By acting now, Amazon greatly reduces the risk of large scale equipment failures as USB-C becomes the most popular connection type on new smartphones and laptops."

The first computers, smartphones and tablets to feature USB-C ports were released last year.

A list of compliant USB-C cables has been published by USB Implementers Forum, Inc.

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