iPhone 15 USB-C port will still force users to buy Apple-certified cables — here's why (report)

iPhone 15 Ultra render via 4RMD
(Image credit: 4RMD)

Last October, the EU mandated that all iPhones from 2024 onward must be equipped with a USB-C charging port. And according to a recent leaked image of the iPhone 15 Pro, Apple is complying with the ruling earlier than we thought.

However, if you've been yearning for a USB-C port because you're tired of buying Apple's proprietary charging cables, you're not out of the woods just yet. According to a leaker with a respectable track record, to get the most out of the iPhone 15's USB-C port, you'll still need to buy an Apple-certified cable.

The iPhone 15 USB-C port has a catch

ShrimpApplePro, a bean spiller known for accurately leaking the iPhone 14's Dynamic Island and RAM, tweeted, "Yeah, USB-C with MFI is happening. Foxconn already in mass production accessories like EarPods and cables."

For the uninitiated, MFI stands for Made for iPhone, a program launched in 2012 that ensures that first-party and MFI-certified Lightning ports and connectors featured a tiny integrated circuit that confirms its "authenticity." As MacRumors pointed out, connecting third-party charging cables sans MFI certification to iDevices often triggers "This accessory is not supported" messages.

As I hinted at the outset, the iPhone 15 is expected to finally get the USB-C port, but it, too, will reportedly feature the same authentication chip to confirm MFI certification. This benefits Apple because it will compel iPhone 15 owners to purchase MFI-certified USB-C peripherals, allowing the Cupertino-based tech giant to get a sweet commission from sales.

You, like Twitter user JGWN, may be wondering, "What's the difference between MFI and stock-standard USB-C?" According to ShrimpApplePro, "Cables [with] no MFI will be software limited in data and charging speed." In other words, if you want zippier charging rates with your brand spankin' new iPhone 15, you'll have to shell out more cash for an MFI-certified USB-C cable.

According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, only the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will support faster transfer speeds while the lower-tier models, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, will be limited to USB 2.0 speeds.

If Kuo's prediction ends up being true, Apple won't be the first company to do this. As DigitalTrends pointed out, smartphone makers like Xiaomi, Oppo, and Realme also limit ultra-fast charging to their proprietary cables.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!