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The iPhone 15’s USB-C port might come with a big catch

Apple has been compelled to make a USB-C-compatible iPhone by the EU. According to reports, the first such iPhone will be the iPhone 15 coming this year. The company won’t be giving up control of its iPhone ecosystem without a fight, though, as a new report says cables not certified by Apple’s MFI (Made For iPhone) program won’t be able to take full advantage of the device’s power.

Reports of Apple tying its USB-C move to MFI came in from fairly weak sources earlier this month, but the fairly reliable ShrimpApplePro shared that the company was in collaboration with Foxconn as it hoped it produce USB-C EarPods and charging cables.

The bottom of an iPhone 14, showing its speaker grille and Lightning port.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Apple would not be the first company to do this. Companies like Xiaomi and BBK sub-brands (Oppo, Vivo, Realme) support USB-C on their phones for standard fast charging but limit their implementations of super-fast charging to their own proprietary cables. It’s not exactly the same thing, but it’s a form of quality control where the risk to the user is minimized while the benefits are maximized.

If Apple wanted to — hypothetically speaking — adopt super-fast charging on its iPhones, restricting this to MFI-certified cables and chargers would make a lot of sense. Though the EU’s rules state, “all devices that support fast charging will now have the same charging speed, allowing users to charge their devices at the same speed with any compatible charger,” this probably applies only to a base level of fast charging speed rather than capping the upper limits.

For reference, Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro with USB-C and fast-charging support later this year. It’s not clear if Apple will stick to the relatively slow 27W charging it offers now, or take the chance to upgrade to something a little faster, like 45W or even 60W, as is now table stakes in Android phones.

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