MacRumors Readers Hoping for USB-C Instead of Lightning in 2019 iPhones

This morning, we asked our readers on Twitter if they'd prefer to see USB-C ports or Lightning ports in the 2019 iPhone lineup, and the results so far are clear -- MacRumors readers are ready to transition to USB-C.

With more than 15,000 responses across both platforms at the time this article was written, 74% of Twitter users have chosen USB-C over Lightning, as have 71% of Facebook users.


There have been some rumors suggesting Apple is at least considering transitioning to USB-C in the 2019 iPhone lineup, with USB-C prototypes supposedly floating around, but the most recent information from Japanese site Mac Otakara suggests Apple will continue to use Lightning for the 2019 iPhone lineup.


Given the mixed rumors, it's looking like we may not be seeing a shift to USB-C in 2019, but it's still possible, and the rumors are encouraging because it means we may see a transition away from Lightning in the near future. iPhones in 2020 or 2021 could feature USB-C, even if the 2019 iPhones don't.

Many current iPhone users may be reluctant to shift from Lightning ports because they've spent years collecting Lightning-based accessories, but there are some benefits to be aware of. With USB-C, iPhones would charge faster than with the current 5W iPhone adapter and Lightning cable setup, and cables would be interchangeable with cables for the MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iPad lineup.

With USB-C support for the iPhone, a single cable could be used to charge all of the above listed devices, and existing power adapters for these devices would fast charge the iPhone, providing at least 50% power in 30 minutes and 80% power within an hour.


MacRumors readers on social networks have weighed in, but we also want to hear from those who are visiting the site. Our Twitter and Facebook polls are open for the rest of the day, so go vote! USB-C or Lightning?

Also, if you don't already, make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, where we share news stories, polls, videos, tips and tricks, and other interesting Apple-related information.

Related Roundup: 2019 iPhones

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2019 iPhones Said to Keep Lightning Connector With Same Old 5W Charger and EarPods in Box

While it was recently reported that Apple has at least considered switching to USB-C on the iPhone, Japanese blog Mac Otakara believes that 2019 models will stick with the Lightning connector as a cost-saving measure.


Based on its conversations with various accessory manufacturers, the blog also predicts that 2019 iPhones will continue to be bundled with the same old 5W power adapter, forcing customers to spend extra on a faster charger like the 18W USB-C version that ships with the latest iPad Pro models.

Likewise, the blog predicts that 2019 iPhones will continue to ship with a Lightning to USB-A cable and Lightning-based EarPods.

Related Roundup: 2019 iPhones

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CES 2019: Griffin Releasing USB-C to Lightning Cables and Chargers Later This Year

Apple-certified accessory maker Griffin today at CES 2019 announced that it will be releasing a collection of USB-C to Lightning cables and power adapters for the latest Apple devices in the second quarter of 2019.


Griffin will offer basic USB-C to Lightning Cables in four-foot and six-foot sizes for $19.99 and $29.99 respectively in the United States, along with a five-foot option with a more premium braided aluminum design for $34.99. All three cables are pending certification under Apple's Made for iPhone program.

By comparison, Apple offers USB-C to Lightning cables in 3.2-foot and 6.5-foot sizes for $19 and $35 respectively in the United States.

In tandem, Griffin will be releasing three new PowerBlock and PowerJolt power adapters: a wall charger with an 18W USB-C port for $39.99, a wall charger with an 18W USB-C port and 12W USB-A port for $49.99, and a car charger with an 18W USB-C port for $39.99. Each comes with a USB-C to Lightning cable.

USB-C to Lightning cables and power adapters can be used with the 2018 iPad Pro and to fast charge the iPhone 8 and newer.

Last month, Apple informed members of its Made for iPhone program that third-party Lightning to USB-C cables are now permitted to be manufactured, and we're now seeing the first options from Griffin and Belkin and likely others.

The cables and power adapters will be available on Griffin's website.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Griffin. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission, which helps us keep the site running.



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Apple-Certified Third-Party Lightning to USB-C Cables Expected Early Next Year

Apple-certified Lightning to USB-C cables should be available from select third-party accessory makers starting early next year.


Last week, Apple informed members of its Made for iPhone or "MFi" licensing program that Lightning to USB-C cables for charging and syncing are now permitted to be manufactured. These cables require a new Lightning connector with part number C94, which Made for iPhone program members can now order.

Apple is selling the new Lightning connector to eligible hardware manufacturers for $2.88 per, and it is estimated to ship in six weeks, according to documentation shared with MacRumors by Hong Kong website ChargerLab.



This means that third-party accessory makers enrolled in the Made for iPhone program, such as Anker, Aukey, Belkin, and Incipio, should have the part necessary to create MFi-certified Lightning to USB-C cables by mid-January and, allowing time for production, could be available to purchase by February or March.

A Lightning to USB-C cable is required to fast charge the iPhone 8 and newer with an 18W-plus power adapter. Otherwise, the new C94 connector is expected to provide a maximum of 15W of power with a standard power adapter.

Apple is currently the only retailer of certified Lightning to USB-C cables at a cost of $19 for the one-meter option and $35 for two-meters in the United States. The one-meter cable was originally $25, but it received a price cut in November 2016 alongside some of Apple's other USB-C adapters and cables.

The biggest advantage to third-party Lightning to USB-C cables is that many will likely be significantly less expensive than Apple's own, while still meeting Apple performance standards under the Made for iPhone program. Many third-party options will likely have more durable designs too, such as a braided cable.

Apple first informed its Made for iPhone program members about its plans to allow third-party Lightning to USB-C cables earlier this year.


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Apple Will Soon Let Hardware Developers Make MFi-Certified USB-C to Lightning Cables

Apple will soon allow hardware developers to manufacture Made for iPhone (MFi) certified USB-C to Lightning cables, reports Japanese site Mac Otakara. Apple is said to have recently informed developers who participate in the MFi program about the change.

Right now, there are no Apple-approved USB-C to Lightning cables available for purchase, which means customers who want a USB-C to Lightning cable must purchase one directly from Apple for $19. With the new MFi update, third-party hardware manufacturers will be able to create USB-C to Lightning cables.


These cables are necessary for fast charging the iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and Apple's upcoming 2018 iPhones when paired with an 18W+ power adapter.

Rumors have suggested that Apple is planning to ship its 2018 iPhones with an upgraded power adapter and a USB-C to Lightning cable, enabling fast charging right out of the box with no need to make an additional purchase.

The approval of Made for iPhone USB-C to Lightning cables indicates that this rumor could be true, with Apple and third-party manufacturers starting to make a shift from standard USB-A Lightning cables to the new fast charge compatible USB-C version.

According to Mac Otakara, developers who want to manufacture a Lightning to USB-C cable will need to use a new C94 Lightning connector provided by Apple, which offers a maximum of 15W of charging with a non-fast charging compatible power adapter and 18W with a compatible power adapter.

Apple has also upgraded its other Lightning connectors, charging about 50 cents more for the new technology.
Apple plans to move C48 Lightning connector to C89 Lightning connector, C68 Lightning connector to C78 Lightning connector, ​​C12 Lightning connector to C79 Lightning connector, the price will also be about $ 0.5 higher.
Mac Otakara expects the first third-party USB-C to Lightning cables to start appearing in mid-2019.


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Gurman: Apple Considered Removing Lightning Connector on iPhone X

As a side note in his report about technical challenges facing the AirPower, expected to be released by September, well-connected reporter Mark Gurman also noted that Apple considered removing wired charging from the iPhone X.


From his Bloomberg News story:
During the development of the iPhone X, Apple weighed removing the wired charging system entirely. That wasn't feasible at the time because wireless charging was still slower than traditional methods. Including a wireless charger with new iPhones would also significantly raise the price of the phones.
Just to be absolutely clear, Gurman confirmed to me that this would have included removing the Lightning connector from the device. In fact, his report notes that Apple designers eventually hope to "remove most of the external ports and buttons on the iPhone," although this is likely multiple years away.

A few years ago, it was reported that Apple's design chief Jony Ive's end goal is for the iPhone to resemble a "single sheet of glass," while Apple has repeatedly expressed its ambitions to "create a wireless future," so the eventual removal of the Lightning connector should perhaps come as no surprise.

Apple is already well on its way towards that wireless future, with products and technologies ranging from AirPods and AirPower to its W1 and W2 wireless chips. Apple also made the controversial decision to remove the headphone jack from iPhone 7 models a few years ago, pushing users towards wireless earphones.

Still, removing the Lightning connector would certainly be another controversial decision, given it is not only used for wired charging, but also for audio and data transfer, such as syncing an iPhone with iTunes on a Mac or PC.

Removing the Lightning connector would also prevent an iPhone from directly connecting to a wide range of peripherals, including many adapters, docks, battery cases, power banks, keyboards, game controllers, audio cables, wired headphones, and other accessories authorized under Apple's MFi Program.

In many cases, however, wireless alternatives would be available. It's possible to sync an iPhone with iTunes over Wi-Fi, for example, while wired headphone users can go wireless, Bluetooth-enabled game controllers are available, and upright-positioned wireless chargers can double as a docking station.

Of course, there would be some friction with this transition, just like when Apple switched from its 30-pin dock connector to Lightning in 2012, and removed the headphone jack on the iPhone 7. In both of those cases, however, the controversy eventually died down as many users came to accept the new reality.

It's also worth noting that Apple considers a lot of different ideas internally that might never materialize in a public-facing product.

At this point, it appears like the Lightning connector on iPhones should live on for at least a few years. Rumors suggest Apple will bundle a faster 18W charger with a USB-C port with iPhones released in 2018, which would connect to the devices with a Lightning to USB-C cable included in the box.


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DigiTimes Vaguely Says 2019 iPhones Are ‘Likely to Support USB-C’

Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes has published a report today claiming that 2019 iPhones will come with USB-C support, but the vague wording makes it hard to decipher what they are referring to exactly.


Cage Chao and Jessie Shen, citing sources within Apple's supply chain:
Apple is redesigning chargers and related interface for its next-generation iPhone and iPad devices, and will likely have its 2019 series of iPhones come with USB Type-C support, according to sources at analog IC vendors.
The flashiest take would be that Apple is planning to remove its Lightning connector from iPhones, in favor of a more universally adopted USB-C port, but that perennial rumor has been proven incorrect time and time again.

A similarly vague report from The Wall Street Journal last year ignited speculation that the iPhone X would have a USB-C port, for example, but oft-reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo accurately said 2017 iPhones would retain Lightning connectors, with added support for fast charging via USB-C Power Delivery.

Given the unlikely possibility of a wholesale switch from Lightning to USB-C, and that the latest iPhones already support USB-C fast charging, the report could be referring to the type of power adapter included in the box.

The report adds:
Speculation circulated previously in the smartphone market that Apple would adopt Type-C interface in its next-generation iPhone series slated for launch later in 2018. Apple is still in its redesign phase and will not be able to equip the technology in its upcoming iPhones, the sources claimed.
The speculation mentioned in the report likely refers to a pair of rumors that have suggested 2018 iPhones will include an 18W USB-C charger and a Lightning to USB-C cable in the box, enabling much faster charging speeds than the tiny square-shaped 5W power adapter included with current iPhones.

In the end, this report could merely be suggesting that Apple will not bundle an 18W power adapter and Lightning to USB-C cable with iPhones until 2019, rather than this year. But, without further details, it is open to interpretation.

A transition to USB-C could make sense if Apple wants to use one standard across its MacBooks, iPhones, and iPads, but with Apple pushing towards a wireless future, it's unclear if the controversy of switching to USB-C would be worthwhile considering the Lightning connector might be removed entirely down the road.

It's worth noting that DigiTimes has a rather mixed track record at reporting on Apple's roadmap. The website claimed that Apple's AirPower charging mat would be available in March, and said a second-generation iPhone SE would launch in May or June, but neither release date proved to be accurate.

At this point, this report should be treated with some skepticism until DigiTimes provides more specific details, or the information is backed up by a more reliable source such as Kuo, who recently returned to the scene.


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Belkin Launching Lightning to 3.5mm Audio Cable for iPhones

Belkin today introduced a certified Lightning to 3.5mm audio cable, and announced that pre-orders will begin on its website today.


The cable has a male Lightning connector on one end and a 3.5mm output on the other, allowing iPhone models that lack a headphone jack to be connected to a car stereo via the AUX port without the need for any adapters.

The cable can also be used to connect an iPhone to other products with 3.5mm inputs, ranging from home speaker systems to over-ear headphones. This is possible because the cable has a built-in digital-to-analog converter.


Lightning to 3.5mm audio cables have been available for several years, but Belkin's edition is certified by Apple under its MFi Program, which was recently expanded to include specifications for this type of cable.

Belkin's cable will be available in a three-foot length for $29.99 or in a six-foot length for $34.99 in the United States, with prices varying elsewhere. In addition to pre-orders on Belkin.com, the cables will available in the coming weeks at Apple Stores, Best Buy, Target, and select other retailers worldwide.

For a pricing comparison, Master & Dynamic recently released an Apple-certified Lightning to 3.5mm audio cable with an in-line microphone for $69.


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