I don’t even have my new iPad Pro yet and I am so ready for the transition to USB-C to be over and done with.
I’ve been trying to figure out how many USB-C cables I need, so I made a list of all the cables I want to carry in my bag to charge all my gear (iPhone, iPad Pro, Apple Watch). I’ve got a couple of MOS wall chargers that have both a USB-C port and two USB-A ports, so I can get away with a single wall charger for all my devices. I also carry a Jackery Bolt battery pack which includes a built-in Lightning connector, obviating the need for one cable. Despite this I figure I still need six different cables:
- USB-C to USB-C cable to charge the iPad Pro from the wall charger.
- USB-A to USB-C cable so I can charge the iPad Pro battery pack (no USB-C on this battery).
- USB-C to Lightning cable so I can fast charge my iPhone from the wall charger or take advantage of the neat new ability to charge the iPhone from the iPad.
- USB-A to Lightning cable so I can charge my iPhone from the wall charger when the USB-C port is occupied by the iPad Pro.
- USB-A to Apple Watch cable to charge my Apple Watch
- USB-A to Micro USB cable to charge the battery pack
It’s pretty ridiculous that I need six cables to charge three devices (four if you count the battery pack as a device). It would be so much easier if everything were USB-C. That’s probably not realistic for the watch, but even just getting a USB-C battery and USB-C on the iPhone would simplify things considerably.
Unfortunately, my guess is Apple will stick with Lightning on the iPhone for at least a few more years. It seems like if they intended for this to be a quick transition for all the iOS devices they would have done it this year on the XS.
I think USB-C is the future connector Apple wants to standardize on, and they seem more willing than ever to give up licensing fees from Lightning and their MFI program. Will it come with next year’s iPhone? I’d give it 50-50 odds.
I’m not so sure about that. The iPhone is Apple’s most popular product and I still hear people complain about the switch from 30 pin to Lightning, I see this event as the warning bell - and think next year we’ll see it spread out across the other devices. We’ve already seen a watch cable with USB C hit the Apple Store which is a good sign. (And it makes sense to test the waters and ease people in with the second most popular device that they sell!)
I have a USB C battery pack, it’s a beast of a thing from Anker but can hold a lot of charge and even charge my MacBook Adorable at work if required, that said I’m looking for a smaller one that works via USB C so I can carry that, the 18W charger, a USB C and USB C to Lightning cable for longer days.
I think the hotel industry was pretty upset with the switch from 30 pin - tens of thousands of in-room nightstand chargers made obsolete.
Yup, and I still see hotels with those today. In hindsight they’d have been better off with just plain old USB A sockets - at least we’d still be able to charge a good number of devices with those.
The fact that the new iPad Pro has now USB—C port is making me wonder whether I should upgrade to iPhone XS this year or keep my iPhone7 (which is working fine) until next year.
Do you think USB-C is going to be next years big feature?
(Not on Apple’s program so cannot update every year)
I think it’ll depend on whether Apple see USB-C connectivity as a “Pro” feature or not. The “Hey look the iPad Pros are proper laptop replacements see they can now connect to the same things as our laptops” line rather than “We made mistake with the Lightning port and we’re ditching it” option.
I don’t know of anyone claiming that the Macbook, a model now 3 years old, was ever designed for people needing ‘pro features’
And in 2012, Apple never said or even left unsaid, “We made mistake with the 30-pin dock connector and we’re ditching it for Lightning”. It was a better choice, it can be used bidirectionally, it’s faster, it’s more robust, and there were no better options at the time than the one they designed themselves. Also at that point in time they were deriving not-insignificant revenue from licensing iPod peripherals (fees ranged from 1% to 20%, based on volume and exclusivity, or even co-branding) and going from 30-pin to Lightning cemented their hold on that revenue. But over time that licensing has diminished significantly in their revenue portfolio and the benefits of USB-C were ever clearer, and Apple was willing to ditch not only Lightning but MagSafe for it in the revamped 2015 Macbooks.
Indeed, Apple has been a major driving force behind the adoption os USB-C for many years. Several years ago Daring Fireball’s John Gruber reported that he was told by insiders at Apple that while many companies were involved in the final USB-C spec, “what I’ve been told, Apple ought to be getting (and taking) credit as the leading company behind USB-C’s innovations. Not that they “invented” it, but that they “basically invented” it. I completely stand by that. But there are a lot of politics involved. One reason Apple isn’t taking more public credit for their role: they truly want USB-C to see widespread adoption; a perception that it’s an Apple technology might slow that down. I’ll also point out that USB-C is a very Apple-like design. It is reversible and thin; because it can handle power, high-speed data transfer, and video, it (obviously, given the new MacBook) allows for a significant reduction in ports on a laptop. Every aspect of USB-C fits Apple’s design goals. You can’t say that about any previous USB port.”