3-in-1 Universal USB Charging Cable: Your Solution for Multiple Connector Issues

by on November 1, 2013 · 28 comments

If you and your loved ones are using different mobile devices, trying to cope with numerous charging cables, you may have multiple connector issues: the problem of those who need to carry multiple cords to charge their tech. You’ve probably experienced the frustration of tangled cables, grabbing the wrong cable and/or fighting over who gets to charge their device first.

  • If you have an ereader, Android device, Windows Phone or BlackBerry, you need a cord with a micro USB connector.
  • If you have an Apple iDevice from the first part of 2012 and earlier, you need a cord with a 30-pin connector.
  • If you have a later iDevice you need a cord with a Lightning connector.

Cords don’t always play nicely with each other, resulting in you wrestling with cable spaghetti. You can also be caught with the wrong cord, unable to charge your device when you need to. Families have even been known to fight over outlets with multiple people having access to only one source of power.

The Solution

I recently discovered a 3-in-1 universal cable that falls into the category of “why didn’t I think of that?” This cable provides you with a micro USB connector, a 30-pin connector and a Lightning connector all in one cable.

This cord has a USB connector on the other end so you can plug it into a computer or a USB adapter for the wall or your car.  You can charge all three types of devices at once or you can just keep it handy when you don’t know which device you’ll need to charge next. When you’re traveling you can take this along to lighten your load and make sure everyone can charge their devices on the go.

I was reluctant at first to upgrade to the iPhone 5s because that would force me to use three different types of cables: one for my iPhone, a different one for my iPad and a third for my Kindle. This universal cable solves that dilemma.

See also, How to Keep Your Mobile Devices Charged when You’re on the Go!

What You Need to Know

You can use this cable to sync data to your computer, but only with the Lightning connector, the micro USB abd 30-pin connectors don’t transfer data.

The cord is short at 9″ which is helpful to avoid tangling but may restrict your ability to use it when you need a longer cord.

The cable is guaranteed by the manufacturer to work with iOS 7.

I have been using this cable in my car and in my home and have been impressed with how well it works. I have been using the cable for about two weeks so I can’t comment on the long-term use of this cable. I will update this article if I have any further information to share.

Availability

Update: The sale price of $19 for this cable at 9to5Toys has been extended until November 15.

The 3-in-1 Universal USB Charging Cable is available on sale until November 15 from 9to5Toys for $19. Free shipping is available to the US, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, and United Kingdom.

The cable is also available directly from the manufacturer, Bazaared, for $59 with free shipping worldwide.

Your Thoughts

Do you struggle with cable spaghetti? Are you ever frustrated by having the wrong cable with you? Do you wish that all devices had the same connector? Do you like this solution for your cable woes? Let us know in the Comments section below!

_________________________

Pennsylvania Conference for Women

Today I will be attending the Pennsylvania Conference for Women in Philadelphia. Please send me a tweet @wonderoftech if you’re there and want to connect!

______________________

* Tangled cable image courtesy of Gavin Schaeffer.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Carol B
Twitter:
November 1, 2013 at 6:24 am

Thanks so much for the tip! I just ordered my 3-1 cable – can’t wait to declutter my counter of the cable tangle that’s there right now.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 1, 2013 at 10:32 am

Hi Carol, Yes, this nifty cable will help you keep your desk tidy plus it’s handy to pop in your purse when you’re on the go!
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Harleena Singh
Twitter:
November 1, 2013 at 6:52 am

Hi Carolyn,

Oh yes…I have one of those :-)

I’m SO glad for once I knew something from before you shared it here…lol…Yes, it’s very frustrating when you have lots of things to connect and one point of place to connect and you wish for such a cable. I used to feel the same way, till I found a similar version in one of the malls we visited a few months back. I don’t remember the name, but it’s pretty identical to what you shared here and has lots of points, so makes it all the more easy.

Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend :-)
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 1, 2013 at 10:35 am

Hi Harleena, that’s great that you have one already and found one in the mall. I was very excited to find this but wanted to wait until I received it and tried it to review it here. you’re right, it certainly makes life easier. My daughters have Android phones so we can charge on of theirs and my iPhone at the same time in the car.
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Dare November 1, 2013 at 8:18 am

Hi Corina,

Thanks for the info!! never knew that such cord exist…my only challenge for the BB is getting such here in Lagos, Nigeria.

Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 1, 2013 at 10:37 am

Hi Dare, Yes, this cord is very handy, it’s a wonder no one thought of this earlier!

The manufacturer will ship worldwide for free.
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Lee November 1, 2013 at 8:29 am

Hi,

As you know Carolyn, I’m not a techie. Will this also work for an iPad Mini?

The pricing you quote sounds a bit strange + why not free shipping to the US?

Thanks,

Lee

Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 1, 2013 at 8:42 am

Hi Lee, Yes, your iPad Mini uses a Lightning cable so this will work for you.

The sale price is for today and shipping to the US is free.
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Ann Nunziata November 1, 2013 at 11:21 am

Ha, ha, ha- your cable spaghetti pic is great! I actually saw this cable in my search to find something reasonable – even had it in my cart to buy – but I chickened out due to all the complaints about the new cables in general. I will be staying tuned to see how long / if your cable holds up over the long term. Did you determine if there really is something that needs to be licensed from Apple by 3rd party cable manufacturers? Or is this just an internet rumor?
Ann

Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 2, 2013 at 7:23 am

Hi Ann, Thanks, I love that picture too! My cables aren’t that bad but sometimes I do feel that way!

Great question. I found a report that Apple is restricting unauthorized third party Lightning cables from iOS 7. http://www.phonearena.com/news/Apple-blocks-unauthorized-Lightning-cables-with-iOS-7_id47612 However this cable does work with iOS 7, as I can say from my tests and the manufacturer says at the 9to5Toys website.
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Adrienne
Twitter:
November 1, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Hey Carolyn,

So at first when I read your headline I knew you were talking about cable in an earlier post so I didn’t think this one would really pertain to me until I started to read it and checked out the image you shared.

Like you said, “why didn’t I think of that”. Makes a lot of sense to me and thanks for sharing this with us and where we can get one too.

Enjoy your weekend.

~Adrienne
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 2, 2013 at 8:45 am

Hi Adrienne, You’re right, this cable isn’t for everyone. If all you have is one device then you don’t need this cable. Similarly, people who have devices with only one type of connector don’t need this cable. But for those who have devices with different connectors, this cable can be very useful!

Yes, this seems like an obvious solution to a common problem. I’m glad someone thought of this and that it’s available for us now!
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Mary Susan November 1, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Wow, this is a wonderful development. Bringing all the gadgets together using the 3 in 1 cable would really save space of plugging in each usb cable.
Thanks for sharing..I really appreciate!

Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 2, 2013 at 8:27 am

Hi Mary Susan, Yes, this cable certainly solved that issue. You only need one outlet to charge three devices. Handy dandy!
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Jeevan Jacob John November 1, 2013 at 7:48 pm

I don’t use that many devices. I try to limit the number of gadgets I use, but I still have 3-4 wires. Most of my problems has been with headphones (I had quite the collection).

I move around my room – with my laptop, and that’s probably the reason why I lost so many of my headphones (then again, I only buy the small ones which are more susceptible to damage. Perhaps I should buy a bigger headphone?).

Anyways, this seems to be a useful tool – particularly to users of Apple products. Anyways, thank you for sharing this, Carolyn! Have a great weekend!

Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 2, 2013 at 7:27 am

Hi Jeevan, Good point, headphone cords can get tangled too. Stay tuned to The Wonder of Tech for a possible solution to your headphone cord issue! ;-)
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lionel November 2, 2013 at 2:38 am

Wow it’s looking very great, I am going to buy this now. Thanks for sharing!

Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 2, 2013 at 7:57 am

Hi Lionel, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! I’m glad you like this cable. Enjoy!
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Mike Maynard
Twitter:
November 4, 2013 at 7:51 am

Hi Carolyn,

These things can be useful. I bought something similar for my car, so the sat nav and phone could be charged at the same time. I have a new phone. The Samsung Galaxy S2. It woke me up this morning with the weather (3C), news from America which made a change from Indonesia and my schedule for the day which wasn’t set. My main problem with it is the contacts list. |I wanted phone numbers. I have phone numbers, Skype contacts and Facebook friends. I have a list now of a few numbers I use regularly, but I have no idea how to add to it. I even read the very long PDF user guide. I suppose I’ll get used to it. At least it gets a signal, which is an improvement on my old phone…
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Hi Mike, Congratulations on your new phone, your first smartphone! Here is a handy YouTube video I found to show you how to add contacts to an Android phone:

http://youtu.be/wgPHGUVwpMU

Enjoy your new phone, Mike! :-bd
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Alin Alexandru November 4, 2013 at 9:55 am

How cool, I will get one !

Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 4, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Hi Alin, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! I hope you enjoy your new cable. :-)
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Pramod November 5, 2013 at 12:01 pm

This is a wonderful share Carolyn !
19$ price isn’t high for a 3 in one USB charging cable . This cable not only eliminates the need of having 3 different USB charging cables but also reduces the number of input ports to 1 . Hats off to the guy who came up with such a brilliant idea . Thanks for sharing the details of this cable with us.

-Pramod
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 10, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Hi Pramod, Yes, this is really a brilliant invention and the sale price certainly is great! This cable can come in handy for a lot of reasons.
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Akaahan Terungwa November 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Hello Carolyn,

I use a similar cable I bought from China: the difference is that it’s got ten different ‘heads’. With that, I charge virtually everything that needs to be charged.

A great plus for the cable is that it has a cigar lighter adapter for your car as well as an AC adapter for your wall socket. Or alternatively, it can be used with a computer as ‘plain’ USB.

Do check out this cable and tell me what you think.

Have a great day!

- Terungwa
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 10, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Hi Terungwa, That’s great that you found a 10-in-1 charging cable. I found a similar cable online but: 1) it didn’t have a car adapter, 2) it didn’t have a Lightning connector, and 3) it only charge one device at a time.

Please feel free to leave a link to the cable you found.
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Anetta Bursh November 6, 2013 at 2:09 am

I have in deed liked this universal USB charging cable. Last month I visited a person and forgot my charger and I wished all cables and chargers were same. But this is a great solution and its sale price is fit for most of us. Thank you for sharing. ~ Anetta

Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 6, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Hi Anetta, Excellent point, getting caught without a charge cord when you need one can be quite frustrating! These cables are short enough to take with you wherever you go.
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