iPhones and USB-C

I came across this Android Central article over the weekend, a discussion about USB-C charging:

Unless you have a Moto Z series phone, none of the cheap adapters you see for sale offer a headphone jack and charging port. None of them. They all may not work with every Moto Z model, either. My advice is to just stay away from them.

This is because of parts of the USB-C specification that are optional. Motorola offers these options, but phones like the Pixel 2 and almost all others do not. It may be possible to define some fancy logic that allows this to happen, but you won’t get it for $12 on eBay or Amazon.

A few weeks ago, a rumor surfaced that Apple would replace the iPhone Lightning port with USB-C. Color me extremely skeptical.

The Lightning spec is consistent and the hardware is reliable (for the most part).

On the USB-C side, things are a bit of a mess. From this take by Android Authority:

Even the seemingly most basic function of USB Type-C — powering devices — has become a mess of compatibility issues, conflicting proprietary standards, and a general lack of consumer information to guide purchasing decisions. The problem is that the features supported by different devices aren’t clear, yet the defining principle of the USB Type-C standard makes consumers think everything should just work.

We’ve seen this issue on the MacBook, though staying with Apple specified adapters works fine. But iPhone adapters are much more of a commodity. Who doesn’t own a 3rd party Lightning cable or adapter for their iPhone? With Lightning, you know it’s iPhone compatible and the bad cables/frauds are sussed out pretty easily.

If Apple replaced Lightning with USB-C on the iPhone, they’d have to ensure that the USB-C standard issues would not become Apple customer support issues.