Apple certified MFi USB-C Lightning cables could arrive as soon as February

in General Discussion edited December 2018
Apple is now allowing manufacturers to produce their own fast-charging USB-C to Lightning cables, with releases for consumers possible as early as February according to documentation from socket part suppliers.

Lighting C94 connector
Lighting C94 connector | ChargeLab

Eligible manufacturers that are apart of Apple's Made for iPhone program were notified at the end of November about the changes, with the required Lightning connectors now available to order. Compared to the standard USB-A Lightning cables, the new USB-C Lightning cables require a new Lightning connector, likely due to the faster 18W fast charging that they support.

New MFi guidelines
New MFi guidelines | ChargeLab

Manufacturers can purchase the updated C94 Lightning Connector from Apple for $2.88 a pop, with six weeks as the estimated shipping time. That means the earliest cables could hit the market would be February.

Popular third-party accessory makers will likely be racing to be the first to market. We should see offerings from many known cable makers such as Nomad, Anker, Audrey, Native Union, and Belkin, though none have confirmed their plans as of yet.

Some manufacturers were notified earlier this year about Apple's plans to introduce third-party USB-C Lightning cables. Until Tuesday's information, though, it wasn't clear when they would actually be able to do so.

To date, anyone looking to take advantage of fast charging on the iPhone -- or quicker charging on their iPads -- needed to use Apple's USB-C Lightning cables. Apple charges $19 for a meter-long cable and $35 for the two meter.

The leaked MFi documentation was provided to MacRumors by Hong Kong site ChargeLab.


  • Reply 1 of 5
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,337member
    As with many things Apple, this took longer than it should have, but its great news for consumers.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    It would be fascinating to see the numbers behind Apple's MFx programs.  I'll be they bring in some shiny pennies for the company.

    If the PD-capable C94 connector is priced at close to $3 in wholesale quantities, I wonder what the earlier version is priced at?  1/2?  2/3rds?  What do they cost Apple to make?

    How about the inductive charging disc for the Watches?  It's clear that the third-party market for those accessories is hamstrung by whatever Apple charges for MFAW components.  The market has largely ignored the OE lug adapter part of the program probably for the same reason, and easily created their own substitutes.

    It's obvious Apple does quite well by selling $19 Lighting cables.  But for other companies, knowing that connector is likely the most expensive component brings some new perspective on third-party cables that can range from $5 street price, up to ~$10 for a "good" one, and upward, for the less price-discriminating consumer.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 1,304member
    I've been told that fast charging reduced the lifespan of the battery. 
    Any thoughts?
  • Reply 4 of 5
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,654member
    That seems like a very long lead time.  Is Apple manufacturing those connectors only to order?   It's also surprising that they can be purchased in quantities in as low as 20 units?  What cable manufacturer would only need 20 units or even 200 units?   
  • Reply 5 of 5
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 1,105member
    4 years after the first Mac with USB-C was released?

    Tim Cook doesn’t care about Mac people.
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