MFi licensed USB-C to Lightning cables from third parties may be coming soon

Apple may have finally changed its stance on having third-parties design, manufacture and sell USB-C to Lightning cables. According to sources, the Cupertino technology giant is said to soon permit other vendors to produce Made for iOS (MFi) certified USB-C to Lightning cables.

More choice for the consumer

The Japanese website Mac Otakara (Google Translate) reported Wednesday that the iPhone maker allegedly informed select third-party makers who participate in the MFi program that they will be able to create USB-C to Lightning cables.

Manufacturers will start releasing first MFi-certified cables around the middle of 2019. In other words, no third-party cables will be ready for this fall’s iPhone and iPad Pro launches.

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Earlier reports said Apple would bundle 2018 iPhones with a stronger 18-watt power adapter and a USB-C to Lightning cable so people could fast charge their device without having to purchase these separately.

The new C94 Lightning connector

Mac Otakara reports that third parties wishing to sell fully-certified USB-C to Lightning cables will need to incorporate Apple’s new C94 Lightning connector. It enables 15-watt charging with a standard power adapter and up to 18 watts with a compatible power adapter.

Apple's USB-C to Lightning cable

Apple’s own USB-C to Lightning cable

However, the C94 connector will reportedly cost around 50 cents more than the current version. It’s hard to say whether the added cost will lead to higher prices or if market forces and competition will yield cheaper third-party cables.

Apple introduced the C94 connector with a new version of its own cable in May 2018.

Fast charging out of the box

Today, if you have an iPhone and just bought a one-port 12-inch MacBook or one of the latest MacBook Pros that have only USB-C ports, you need this cable to plug the phone into your notebook. The USB-C to Lightning cable is also required to fast charge your iOS device, too.

TUTORIAL: How to fast charge your iPhone

The problem is, the cable’s only available from Apple and costs $19 for a 1-meter version ($35 for twice the length). Apple’s cable is nearly two times thicker than the standard cable which came with your iOS device, and supports the USB Power Delivery standard.

Apple USB-C chargers

Apple’s USB-C chargers for iOS devices and Mac notebooks

You can use it in conjunction with Apple’s 30W+ USB power adapter (or any other 18W+ Power Delivery-compliant charger) to fast charge your iPhone X, iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus, which gets you from zero charge to fifty percent in thirty minutes.