iPhone USB Type-C Port Functionality Could be Limited by Apple: Report

Countries around the world, including India, have been considering adopting USB Type-C as the uniform charging port for all electronic devices. The European Union has already introduced rules to make USB Type-C connectors, widely used by Android-based handsets, the standard for mobile phones, tablets and cameras and implement it by 2024. Apple said last year that it will comply with the EU law. A new report now suggests that the Cupertino company may introduce limitations similar to its Lightning port for the USB Type-C ports in its upcoming smartphones.

According to a MacRumours report citing a tipster on Weibo, Apple intends to use a custom integrated circuit (IC) interface for the upcoming USB Type-C port, allowing it to authenticate the components involved in the connection. Since their incorporation in 2012, first-party and MFi-certified Lightning ports and connectors have included a small integrated circuit that verifies the authenticity of the elements present in the connection. It is similar to the restrictions imposed by the company on its Lightning port.

The verification system built into the Lightning interface is what generates alerts that warn users with the message “This accessory is not supported” when plugging in a device that isn’t made by Apple and isn’t part of its “Made for iPhone” (MFi) licencing programme.

It is worth noting that none of Apple’s existing USB Type-C electronic devices, iPad 10th generation, iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro include any restrictions on the functionality of the USB Type-C port, and since the claim of the purported limitation has been made by a tipster, it is advisable to take it with a pinch of salt.

It is unclear whether this change will have a significant impact on the functionality of the upcoming Apple devices, but it is possible that the company will restrict fast charging and high-speed data transfer to Apple and MFi-certified cables, as per the report.

TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously suggested that the iPhone 15 series will forego the Lightning port in favour of USB Type-C, which could significantly enhance data transfer speeds. However, high-speed USB Type-C wired connectivity could be available only on the high-end iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, and iPhone 15 Ultra.

The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max/Ultra are expected to have “at least USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3” connectivity. USB 3.2 technology can transfer data at up to 20Gbps, whereas Thunderbolt 3 can reach up to 40Gbps. According to the analyst, it may boost demand for high-speed transfer chips. Notably, the majority of Android handsets currently feature the older USB 2.0 technology.

Apple launched the iPad Pro (2022) and the iPad (2022) alongside the new Apple TV this week. We discuss the company’s latest products, along with our review of the iPhone 14 Pro on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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