USB Type-C vs. Lightning. Which one is better?

  • by AVLT
  • 2018-10-09



Rumor has it that Apple’s upcoming iPad Pro will switch from lighting to USB-C. IPad Pro is using lightning to Type-C cable and new MacBook Pro is only compatible with USB-C (Thunderbolt 3). There is more evidence that Apple starts using Type-C as one of the major connector. As there is an article about Type-C and Thunderbolt 3, let me elaborate what is the lightning cable.  


What is lightning (connector)?

Lightning is a connector created by Apple Inc., and be introduced in 2012 to replace its original 30-pin dock connector. There are some features of lightning cable.  Firstly, lightning cables can only be used in Apple’s products (Obviously, cause it is made by Apple). Secondly, it’s the 8-pin connector and can be inserted either face up or down. Thirdly, it has a certified chip called MFi (Made for iPhone/ iPod/ iPad), which is licensed by Apple. There may be some charging or transferring problems if lightning cables do not contain authentication chips.


What is USB Type-C?

Type-C is a 24-pin connector system, which enables peripheral devices to communicate to a personal computer. Type-C is thinner, reversible and can be used to transmit data, audio, video with higher speed, and power delivery (Not all included, depend on different cables and gadgets).

As Type-C is just a receptacle, Type-C might be USB 2.0, USB3.1 or Thunderbolt 3. Fortunately, many Type-C connectors support USB 3.1 nowadays.



USB Type-C vs. Lightning


It’s obvious that USB Type-C supports faster transfer speed and higher power output. But lightning cable is relatively small and robust. There is no doubt that lightning is the best connector many years ago. However, things are changing and Apple also accepts Type-C as a major connector for new MacBook. 

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