One of the easier-to-believe rumors about this year’s iPhones — which we discovered today will include the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max — is that Apple is going to ship a USB-C charging block in the box. The USB-C charger, when connected to an iPhone with a USB-C to Lightning cable, will enable fast charging of iPhone devices, and move us one tiny baby step closer to a totally USB-C future.
We’ve heard all the rumors before, but a new report from Macotakara corroborates previous reports, as well as supplying new details. Apple reportedly told partners in its Made for iPhone program that they’ll be able to sell licensed USB-C to Lightning cables in the near future, according to the outlet.
Per the report, the cables will be able to deliver 18 watts of power to devices that support it, which is consistent with the USB-C to Lightning fast-charging that we’ve already seen on the iPhone X. Fast charging is one area where Android has consistently been beating the iPhone; device manufacturers have quick-charge standards that can go up to 40 watts in some cases, allowing users to juice up their batteries in minutes.
For potential iPhone Xs upgraders, the news that Apple’s going to allow third-party cables will be somewhat welcome. Apple’s cables are notoriously expensive, and while official MFi cables are never cheap, it can at least give you an option.
On the other hand, this seems to confirm that Apple is really getting behind the USB-C to Lightning connectivity option, which isn’t great news for current customers. It feels like only yesterday that Apple went from the 30-pin connector to Lightning; with the limitations of the Lightning standard and the fact that the MacBook Pro has already moved to USB-C, it only seems like a matter of time until Apple goes to USB-C for the iPhone — or ditches the physical port altogether.