As the 2018 iPhone family is expected to come with an 18W USB-C fast charging adapter, it is quite safe to speculate a large number of USB-C to Lightning cables hitting the stores later this year. But now, it is reported that Apple is set to open up its MFi (Made for iPhone) programme for accessory makers to start approving new USB-C to Lightning cables. It is also said that the new cables through third-party manufacturers will come at a higher production cost than the traditional USB-A to Lightning cable. Notably, the Cupertino company already offers its in-house USB-C to Lightning cables that iPhone X and iPhone 8 users can separately purchase to enable fast charging on their devices.
Apple has informed manufacturers who participate in the MFi licensing programme that it is set to approve third-party USB-C to Lightning cables, reports Macotakara. The company is reportedly in plans to move the existing C48 Lightning connector to C89 Lightning connector, C68 Lightning connector to C78 Lightning connector, and C12 Lightning connector to C79 Lightning connector. This will increase the cost of production by about $0.5 (roughly Rs. 36) per unit. The new C94 Lightning connector is designed to support fast charging. It is also said that the cables will be able to deliver a maximum 15W power supply in case of non-USB Power Delivery and 18W charge in case of the USB Power Delivery.
While Apple could start welcoming manufacturers on its MFi programme for expanding the market of USB-C to Lightning cables, it is reported that new third-party cables aren't likely to go on sale anytime before the middle of next year. This is in line with what Macotakara reported in July. The publication at that time claimed that the iPhone maker will add its proprietary technology to the MFi programme in late 2018, though compatible USB-C chargers will be available next year only.
Moreover, since Apple is expected to face some supply issues initially while bundling the 18W USB-C adapter along with the new iPhone models, the arrival of third-party manufacturers will help customers pick their desired options even for the older iPhone models, including the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus that all presently support fast charging. The availability of the certified USB-C to Lightning cables could also adversely impact the sales of the existing USB-A to Lightning cables. In the meantime, customers just have the option to pick a non-MFi certified USB-C Lightning cable from the market.
New iPhones may well be amazing but will Apple follow a new strategy in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.