Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Why Aren’t There Third-Party USB-C to Lightning Cables?

John Gruber:

Here’s a thread on Reddit asking why there aren’t any USB-C to Lightning cables from reliable, certified companies like Anker, Monoprice, and Amazon. It’s a year-old thread and the situation is unchanged. This stinks now that all MacBooks and the new iPad Pros have gone to USB-C, along with chargers that output by USB-C.


What’s the deal here? Is there a technical issue? Or is Apple just spitefully keeping this market to itself? It really seems like a raw deal when you consider that Apple still doesn’t include a USB-C to Lightning cable with new iPhones.

Previously: The Impossible Dream of USB-C.

Update (2018-11-15): Colin Cornaby:

It’s a licensing issue. You can’t Made for iPhone license these cables. They exist on the grey market though.

I’m not sure what Apple’s reasoning is, but it may eventually change. My own personal opinion is they want to keep a monopoly on the cables for a bit, but maybe there’s a technical issue I don’t know about. USB-C cable quality can be… variable.

Update (2018-11-16): John Gruber:

The next thing to understand is that MFI certification requires vendors to source their Lightning connectors from Apple. The old connectors don’t support PD, and the new connectors that do aren’t yet available to third parties. Basically, this is why the only option for officially certified USB-C to Lightning cables remains Apple’s own 1m and 2m cables.


It’s small consolation to those of us looking for high-quality third-party USB-C to Lightning cables and adapters today, but it does sound like they’ll start appearing in the second quarter of 2019.


If the iPhone were to switch to USB-C, I don’t think they could stop anyone from making USB-C battery cases. I do not think Apple will cede this control.


I think iPhones will stick with Lightning until wireless charging is fast enough that Apple can remove all ports, Apple Watch-style.

Previously: Lightning or USB-C on the New iPhones?.

Update (2018-12-03): See also: The Talk Show.

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