Anker to debut USB-C to Lightning cables in March, audio adapter in April

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 4
Accessory juggernaut Anker on Monday previewed its first USB-C to Lightning cables, saying the accessories should ship out in March.




Anker shared the news of the new Powerline and Powerline+ USB-C to Lightning cables with AppleInsider just after CES, where other manufacturers such as Griffin and Belkin debuted their own products.

Anker's lineup is robust, if not iterative on existing Lightning cables already on the market.

The Powerline+ USB-C to Lightning has aluminum overmolds on each end and is reinforced with nylon throughout the length of the cable. The Powerline version of the cable uses aramid fiber in the cable itself for superior durability. Anker says the bend lifespan of the aramid version is five times higher than any other cable on the market, though those claims have gone untested.

Both cables can be purchased in 3t-foot and 6-foot lengths when they ship in March from Anker.com.

Anker USB-C to female Lightning
Anker USB-C to female Lightning


Anker is also releasing a USB-C to Lightning audio adapter in April. With the device, users can listen to Lightning EarPods or MFi-certified Lightning headphones on their Mac or iPad Pro via USB-C.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    I was really hoping we were close to seeing the end of Lightning, with the next generation of iPhones and iPads following the current iPad Pro to USB-C instead. This latest move to license a new breed of Lightning cables makes that seem unlikely. I don't think Apple would have bothered if the plan is to move away from Lightning anytime soon.
  • Reply 2 of 18
    I was really hoping we were close to seeing the end of Lightning, with the next generation of iPhones and iPads following the current iPad Pro to USB-C instead. This latest move to license a new breed of Lightning cables makes that seem unlikely. I don't think Apple would have bothered if the plan is to move away from Lightning anytime soon.
    Lightning should be the end of all ports on consumer iOS devices. Then it’s wireless .
  • Reply 3 of 18
    I was really hoping we were close to seeing the end of Lightning, with the next generation of iPhones and iPads following the current iPad Pro to USB-C instead. This latest move to license a new breed of Lightning cables makes that seem unlikely. I don't think Apple would have bothered if the plan is to move away from Lightning anytime soon.
    Lightning should be the end of all ports on consumer iOS devices. Then it’s wireless .
    No thanks. Apple sold me a device with lots and lots of storage space that I use to store lots and lots of content. The pain point is transferring that content to and from the device. USB2-speed transfers via Lightning cable are slow enough. The LAST thing I want is to make it even slower by limiting transfers to wireless.
    MplsPcgWerksdocno42
  • Reply 4 of 18
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,358member
    I was really hoping we were close to seeing the end of Lightning, with the next generation of iPhones and iPads following the current iPad Pro to USB-C instead. This latest move to license a new breed of Lightning cables makes that seem unlikely. I don't think Apple would have bothered if the plan is to move away from Lightning anytime soon.
    Lightning should be the end of all ports on consumer iOS devices. Then it’s wireless .
    No thanks. Apple sold me a device with lots and lots of storage space that I use to store lots and lots of content. The pain point is transferring that content to and from the device. USB2-speed transfers via Lightning cable are slow enough. The LAST thing I want is to make it even slower by limiting transfers to wireless.
    Not to mention the fact that wireless is inferior to wired charging in almost every way.
    cgWerksbluefire1docno42
  • Reply 5 of 18
    payecopayeco Posts: 301member
    WTF no 10 foot cables?
  • Reply 6 of 18
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,171member
    I really wish they could further reduce the length of the housing/jacket on these cables soon (though this looks better than some I have). That's a lot of potential leverage on an awfully tiny port. That's one complaint I have with my new Mac mini and eGPU setup, is the huge 'handles' on the TB3 cable sticking off the ports. At least in this application, it isn't likely to encounter much being bumped... but on mobile devices? Yikes!

    racerhomie3 said:
    Lightning should be the end of all ports on consumer iOS devices. Then it’s wireless .
    No thanks. Apple sold me a device with lots and lots of storage space that I use to store lots and lots of content. The pain point is transferring that content to and from the device. USB2-speed transfers via Lightning cable are slow enough. The LAST thing I want is to make it even slower by limiting transfers to wireless.
    No doubt! Wireless is nice sometimes for convenience. If you want speed or stability, though, it sucks!
  • Reply 7 of 18
    cgWerks said:
    I really wish they could further reduce the length of the housing/jacket on these cables soon 
    It's gonna take a helluva genie for that wish to come true. Between transceiver circuits and authentication chips, there's a lot of hardware in them there shells. What's inside is already so tiny it's hard to imagine making them much smaller.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    And then Apple will disable them with subesqent iOS update just like it did with many adapters. Security. Right.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    And then Apple will disable them with subesqent iOS update just like it did with many adapters. Security. Right.
    Apple disabled adapters with an iOS update? Which adapters? When?
  • Reply 10 of 18
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,300member
    I've long found monoprice.com cables far superior to Apple's.  mFi certified, cheaper and several different styles.  Anker makes good stuff too so it will be interesting to compare for quality and price.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 11 of 18
    sw1234sw1234 Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Will the usb c to lightning adapter work with Lightning microphones? I'm considering the Sennheiser Ambeo binaural headset but would hate to see it rendered useless if the next iPhone has usb c.
  • Reply 12 of 18
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,171member
    lorin schultz said:
    It's gonna take a helluva genie for that wish to come true. Between transceiver circuits and authentication chips, there's a lot of hardware in them there shells. What's inside is already so tiny it's hard to imagine making them much smaller.
    True, though I'm pretty amazed at how small Apple's Lightning cables have gotten, or some good active HDMI cables, like Monoprice sells. (cf. https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=13590 )

    docno42 said:
    I've long found monoprice.com cables far superior to Apple's.  mFi certified, cheaper and several different styles.  Anker makes good stuff too so it will be interesting to compare for quality and price.
    Yeah, though I'm not sure they are quite as good as Apple's, in my experience. But, super great for the price, and well designed (small jackets, connectors, etc.) When I come across a cable someone buys at the store, or that comes with a product, I'm often like... eww, how can you use a cable with such massive end/jacket-y things? And, it isn't just a aesthetic thing, the shorter it can be, the less leverage the cable puts in the ports. It scares me having a couple-inch long cable end-thing hanging off a tiny, delicate port! (And, maybe brings back bad memories of SCSI connectors with terminators and such hanging off file-server ports.)

    sw1234 said:
    Will the usb c to lightning adapter work with Lightning microphones? I'm considering the Sennheiser Ambeo binaural headset but would hate to see it rendered useless if the next iPhone has usb c.
    That highlights another problem. There are all kinds of more speciality devices using these technologies. A great example are the FireWire audio units that cost $thousands and are still perfectly useable except for the FW port.
  • Reply 13 of 18
    cgWerks said:
    [...] Yeah, though I'm not sure [Monoprice's cables] are quite as good as Apple's, in my experience. But, super great for the price
    It really depends. Some of their stuff is great, other stuff is pretty crappy.

    I got tired of coiling up the three-foot-long cable that came with my portable drive so I turned to Monoprice for a shorter one. It works fine and will probably last forever, but the damn thing is as stiff as a coat hanger! I don't know which is more hassle to work around on the desk -- a rat's nest of excess cable, or a cable so inflexible it dictates where the drive will sit instead of letting ME decide!

    As an aside, I've stopped using active HDMI cables because of the limitation of only being able to use one in any particular chain. I mess around with connections often, in dark and hard to reach places, and create signal paths circuitous enough to cause confusion. I decided to preemptively head off the inevitable "Why doesn't this work?" by just removing active cables from my collection.

    cgWerks said:
    That highlights another problem. There are all kinds of more speciality devices using these technologies. A great example are the FireWire audio units that cost $thousands and are still perfectly useable except for the FW port.
    No problem. I just added a Firewire-to-Thunderbolt 2 adapter plugged into a Thunderbolt 2-to-Thunderbolt 3 adapter and went back to work! I just pretend that I don't have an almost foot-long garden hose sticking out the side of the computer, and that the combination of adapters didn't cost more than the video capture device they're connecting.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 14 of 18
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,171member
    lorin schultz said:
    It really depends. Some of their stuff is great, other stuff is pretty crappy.
    ... As an aside, I've stopped using active HDMI cables because of the limitation of only being able to use one in any particular chain. ...
    Yeah, I guess I'll agree there. I've bought some stuff from them that I didn't like too, though all but like maybe one thing worked well. I don't feel too bad, though, if I order a few different cables from them initially, to see which ones I like best (besides the waste). I still probably paid less than one cable down at the local Best Buy, etc.

    I totally agree about the inflexible cables, I hate those too.

    lorin schultz said:
    No problem. I just added a Firewire-to-Thunderbolt 2 adapter plugged into a Thunderbolt 2-to-Thunderbolt 3 adapter and went back to work! I just pretend that I don't have an almost foot-long garden hose sticking out the side of the computer, and that the combination of adapters didn't cost more than the video capture device they're connecting.
    Yeah, I'm glad that works and that those exist. My point, though, was that there are a lot of expensive peripherals that use a particular port, so it isn't always just easy for someone to 'move on' as we're being told by so many comments. And, even if adapters do exist, they are kind of a pain and certainly an inconvenience/eye-sore.
  • Reply 15 of 18
    cgWerks said:
    [...] even if adapters do exist, they are kind of a pain and certainly an inconvenience/eye-sore.
    Given the advantages of an exponentially faster port that can handle just about anything i connect to it, the hassle of adapters seems almost trivial by comparison. The gains are substantial, the downside is minor. Plus, if we're talking about USB-C specifically, I can then carry ONE charging cable instead of USB-C for my computer and Lightning for my iPhone and Micro-USB for my Beats.

    I don't want an all-wireless system, but neither do I want to cling to old protocols to protect my investment in old equipment. I can use adapters for the old stuff while taking advantage of the benefits a newer connection offers for everything else.

    As an analogy, imagine your next car runs on a new fuel that gives you ten times the acceleration and ten times the range you get with gasoline. You can still run it on gas, but to do that you have to open the trunk and insert a three-foot long tube into the tank. That makes running the new car on gasoline more hassle than the car you have now, but in exchange you have the option to use the new super fuel with the speed and range advantages. Fair trade?


  • Reply 16 of 18
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,171member
    lorin schultz said:
    Given the advantages of an exponentially faster port that can handle just about anything i connect to it, the hassle of adapters seems almost trivial by comparison. The gains are substantial, the downside is minor. Plus, if we're talking about USB-C specifically, I can then carry ONE charging cable instead of USB-C for my computer and Lightning for my iPhone and Micro-USB for my Beats.
    Oh yeah, I'm with you there. I think given Apple's push for USB-C on their laptops (especially), and desktops, it's kind of silly they don't have USB-C on the phones.
    But, in context of this article and the question I was responding to... if one buys a new expensive device with Lightning port on it, and then Apple switches to USB-C, would it be fully supported? (Weren't there some 3.5mm based hardware devices that didn't work with the adapter after Apple dropped the jack? Like maybe those Square CC readers?) I can't remember if Lightning is just USB anyway, but I wonder if it is 100% comparability. Otherwise, you'd want to know before buying some Lightning based expensive add-on.

    lorin schultz said:
    As an analogy, imagine your next car runs on a new fuel that gives you ten times the acceleration and ten times the range you get with gasoline. You can still run it on gas, but to do that you have to open the trunk and insert a three-foot long tube into the tank. That makes running the new car on gasoline more hassle than the car you have now, but in exchange you have the option to use the new super fuel with the speed and range advantages. Fair trade?
    Except for the range part, it sounds a bit like a Tesla. :smile:  And, going kind of with that, what if you could only get this new fuel at a station in Sacramento and another in Buffalo? Then, if you didn't live in those two places, you'd have that pain every time you fueled up, which would suck. Unfortunately, that's kind of how I currently see USB-C, as there is little upside for most of us... it's all downside until some supposed future time. (I still don't have a single USB-C device... so it's all adapters to make things work with no real advantage.) And... as for power, I'd have to have such adapters along or I couldn't charge, as no-one has USB-C chargers yet (kind of like the car analogy above).
  • Reply 17 of 18
    cgWerks said:
    lorin schultz said:
    Given the advantages of an exponentially faster port that can handle just about anything i connect to it, the hassle of adapters seems almost trivial by comparison. The gains are substantial, the downside is minor. Plus, if we're talking about USB-C specifically, I can then carry ONE charging cable instead of USB-C for my computer and Lightning for my iPhone and Micro-USB for my Beats.
    Oh yeah, I'm with you there. I think given Apple's push for USB-C on their laptops (especially), and desktops, it's kind of silly they don't have USB-C on the phones.
    But, in context of this article and the question I was responding to... if one buys a new expensive device with Lightning port on it, and then Apple switches to USB-C, would it be fully supported? (Weren't there some 3.5mm based hardware devices that didn't work with the adapter after Apple dropped the jack? Like maybe those Square CC readers?) I can't remember if Lightning is just USB anyway, but I wonder if it is 100% comparability. Otherwise, you'd want to know before buying some Lightning based expensive add-on.

    lorin schultz said:
    As an analogy, imagine your next car runs on a new fuel that gives you ten times the acceleration and ten times the range you get with gasoline. You can still run it on gas, but to do that you have to open the trunk and insert a three-foot long tube into the tank. That makes running the new car on gasoline more hassle than the car you have now, but in exchange you have the option to use the new super fuel with the speed and range advantages. Fair trade?
    Except for the range part, it sounds a bit like a Tesla. :smile:  And, going kind of with that, what if you could only get this new fuel at a station in Sacramento and another in Buffalo? Then, if you didn't live in those two places, you'd have that pain every time you fueled up, which would suck. Unfortunately, that's kind of how I currently see USB-C, as there is little upside for most of us... it's all downside until some supposed future time. (I still don't have a single USB-C device... so it's all adapters to make things work with no real advantage.) And... as for power, I'd have to have such adapters along or I couldn't charge, as no-one has USB-C chargers yet (kind of like the car analogy above).
    I was just shopping for a couple portable hard drives and was disappointed to find that USB-C has made so little progress there. Both Seagate and Western Digital introduced new drive chassis this year, but instead of taking the opportunity to update them with USB-C ports they still use that incredibly irritating Micro-B-3.0 "blade."

    I understand why they might not want to use a cable with a C connector on the computer end yet, but there's no reason for it not to be C at the drive end. Even those who don't have USB-C equipped computers would still enjoy the benefit of a reversible connector on the drive. I just don't get why a manufacturer would deliberately choose not to include such an obvious improvement.

    Tangent time: Writing the word "blade" reminded me that there's good value to be had on the portable SSD front at the moment. Amazon.ca has 1TB Crucial M.2 NVMe blades for CAD$179. A USB-C Gen2 enclosure for it was $49. That's $80 less than a Samsung T1 and four times as fast.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 18 of 18
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,171member
    lorin schultz said:
    I was just shopping for a couple portable hard drives and was disappointed to find that USB-C has made so little progress there. Both Seagate and Western Digital introduced new drive chassis this year, but instead of taking the opportunity to update them with USB-C ports they still use that incredibly irritating Micro-B-3.0 "blade."

    ...

    Tangent time: Writing the word "blade" reminded me that there's good value to be had on the portable SSD front at the moment. Amazon.ca has 1TB Crucial M.2 NVMe blades for CAD$179. A USB-C Gen2 enclosure for it was $49. That's $80 less than a Samsung T1 and four times as fast.
    Yeah, that makes no sense. I ***REALLY*** have those 'blade' connectors.

    Wow, that's a pretty good deal. I'm getting the impression the price of all this SSD stuff is dropping fairly quickly. At some point, I'd like to add a few TB of external storage to my Mac mini setup and get rid of the spinning drive I sometimes have connected. Then I'll just use the spinning stuff for backup/archival.
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