iPhone 15 USB-C port will only be compatible with original Apple products
The iPhone 15 series will reportedly finally replace the Lightning port with a USB-C port. But it looks like once again Apple may have found a way to restrict people from buying and using only original Apple cable products, as well as restricting the types of chargers/charging cables that owners could use.
In line with EU law, Apple is expected to add a USB-C port to this year’s iPhone 15 lineup, replacing the proprietary Lightning port. However, just because an iPhone has the same connector as other products doesn’t necessarily mean that all of the port’s features will be available for every accessory or charger you plug into it.
According to the user’s weiboApple has developed a Lightning-compatible integrated circuit board that will be used in conjunction with the USB-C port on the iPhone 15.
Integrated circuit (IC) interfaces are semiconductor chips used to control the exchange of information between devices. Since its introduction in 2012, first-party and MFi-certified Lightning ports and connectors contain a small IC that authenticates the parts involved in the connection.
For example, non-MFi certified third-party charging cables do not have this chip, which often results in “This accessory is not supported” alerts on connected Apple devices.
This suggests that the firmware will limit the interaction of the USB-C port with what is connected to it. This could mean that Apple is keeping the completely proprietary Lightning ecosystem built for the iPhone, even though the shape of the physical connector has changed.
But Apple has earned the benefit of the doubt here. The USB-C port on an iPad, the Apple TV remote, or the Thunderbolt ports on various Apple Macs are not limited to Apple-certified accessories.
The latest rumor seems to suggest that Apple has developed a similar dedicated chip for the USB-C ports on the “iPhone 15” and “iPhone 15 Pro” and presumably for its charging cables. Like the iPhone 15 lineup, the new chip appears to be designed for new MFi-certified peripherals.
If the rumor is accurate at all, what’s more, it’s likely that the iPhone port will support basic features like charging at normal speed with any standard USB-C cable. But some additional features, such as high-speed data transfer or high-power fast charging, are only available with certified cables and peripherals.
The target may be even more benign. The Lightning PCB could play a role in backwards compatibility, allowing millions of existing Lightning accessories to still work with the iPhone 15 with an adapter.
Apple will officially announce the iPhone 15 in the fall, likely at a media event in September. According to the latest rumors, the cheaper iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will have a standard USB-C port with USB-2 data transfer rates. The more expensive iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will support Thunderbolt 3 over USB-C for fast data transfers and 4K output.