iPhone 15 could restrict charging and data speeds for uncertified USB-C cables

A reliable leaker has claimed that Apple won’t drop the longstanding MFi certification program once its upcoming iPhone 15 swaps the Lightning connector for USB-C.

A photograph focused on Apple's Lightning to USB-C cable being held in front of the camera, with an iPhone laid on a table blurred out in the background
MFi certification won’t be going away anytime soon | Image: Jeff Benjamin/iDB
  • What’s happening? The next iPhone should ditch Lightning for USB-C, with Apple potentially restricting cables without Made For iPhone (MFi) certification.
  • Why care? Uncertified cables not getting access to the iPhone 15’s USB-C port could be a safety measure. Many people have been burned by cheap non-MFi Lightning cables and chargers that fried their iPhones and destroyed batteries.
  • What to do? Read the report by leaker ShrimpApplePro on Twitter.

MFi certification isn’t going away with a USB-C iPhone

Apple’s MFi certification program will be enforced even after the company ditches its proprietary Lightning port for the more ubiquitous USB-C standard with next year’s iPhone 15, mandated by the European Union’s common charger directive.

According to ShrimpApplePro’s sources, cables, chargers, cables and other accessories will need to be MFi-certified to get full access to the USB-C port.

The leaker claims that Apple’s contract manufacturer Foxconn is already producing USB-C EarPods and cables with MFi certification, as well as various MFi accessories from third-party companies. Some people have assumed that Apple might abandon the MFi program once it has moved the iPhone to USB-C.

How MFi certification works

Introduced with iOS 7 in 2013, MFi gives buyers peace of mind knowing that certified accessories are allowed to use Apple’s proprietary technologies and components, including a chip for authentication purposes, to ensure optimal user experience.

An MFi badge on product packaging informs the customers that an accessory has been certified “to meet Apple performance standards,” according to the official MFi Program webpage. Uncertified accessories don’t offer such guarantees.

Why MFi branding is important

You’re advised to pay attention to MFi branding because online forums are filled with examples of people who bought a cheap uncertified charging cable or charger that fried their iPhone or rapidly diminished its battery capacity.

In that respect, enforcing MFi certification on USB-C iPhones will protect folks from such worries, more so given the lack of clear labeling on many USB-C cables sold today making it impossible to tell what speed or how much power it can carry.

Plugging an uncertified accessory into the iPhone 15’s USB-C port could prompt the user that functionality is restricted regarding power delivery, data speed or both.

You probably saw this prompt when plugging a non-MFi accessory into your iPhone. On the other hand, because MFi vendors pay fees to Apple, many have accused the company of leveraging the program to extract additional revenue from companies.