You could be able to get your hands on less expensive, but still MFi certified, Lightning-to-USB-C cables more quickly than first thought. Apple is allowing third-party manufacturers to produce these, and shipments could start in just a few months.
These cables allow iPhones and older iPads to charge far more quickly than Lightning-to-USB-A ones.
An iPhone plugged into a USB-C port can charge at 18W or more. The USB-A charger than comes with iOS handsets provides just 5W, and the charger for 2017 iPads offers 12W.
The upcoming cables can use the 18W charger that ships with the 2018 iPad Pro, or the 30W one bundled with the 2018 MacBook Air. Apple devices are intelligent enough to not allow themselves to take in too much power.
Better Lightning cables in Q1
In January, Apple will begun shipping a new version of the Lightning connector to the companies that want to produce the USB-C cables. This means the companies could begin offering them in February or March, according to ZMI. Previously, it was thought they wouldn’t be available until mid-2019.
Apple already makes its own Lightning-to-USB-C cable but this starts at $19. Third-party accessory makers could offer them for less. For example, these companies sell MFi certified Lightning-to-USB-A cables for about $12, while Apple’s own is $19.
Lightning Cables certified MFi or “Made for iPhone”
Apple created the MFi program as a way to certify that third-party accessories meet certain quality standards. All cables and other peripherals that meet these have the “Made for iPhone” logo.
Not surprisingly, Apple charges a fee for this, which drives up the cost of these products. And there are other restrictions, like requiring the use of Lightning connectors made by Apple.
There are plenty of companies that make Lightning-related accessories that aren’t MFi certified. They are usefully cheaper, but of lower quality.