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Apple is slowly but surely switching its mobile devices from Lightning connections to USB-C. This means that chargers and connection cables from other manufacturers can be used, USB OTG functions can be used and other advantages can be taken advantage of. But there are also disadvantages when changing the connections on the iPhone and iPad. In the following I have put together a small comparison of Lightning and USB-C, which should reveal advantages and disadvantages. Do not take the whole thing as a collection of facts, but rather consider some of the points as a subjective opinion - feel free to leave your views as a comment;)
Above all Android users and other people who have little connection to Apple ask themselves this. Why didn't Apple switch from its 30-pin connector to micro-USB and then directly to USB-C, instead it has its own proprietary one Connection and plug created? Well, Apple wanted a comprehensive range of functions that was not feasible with the standards of 2012 - when the connection with iPhone 5, iPad mini, iPod Touch 5, etc. was introduced.
So a separate connection had to be found. Compared to its predecessor, Lightning only uses 8 point-symmetrical contacts and is space-saving. A chip in the plug identifies the connected device so that the iPhone, iPad or iPod use the correct settings and signals directly. In addition, the connection specially created by Apple should ensure the quality of accessories such as cables, since replicas and counterfeits from third-party manufacturers can be recognized via an authentication chip.
Last but not least, the Lightning connector is considered self-cleaning because dust and dirt are wiped off when it is plugged into the device. Since there is no central latch in the socket on the device, less dirt collects in it. Cleaning is also made easier. Apple has recognized the disadvantages of the standards for connections to mobile devices that prevailed before and in 2012 and wanted to do something about it.
With the move to Thunderbolt 3 with a USB-C design for ports on MacBook models, Apple has shown its commitment to implementing the port type. Next came iPad Pro models, which can now be used with peripherals and connected to cameras, for example. USB-C can also be inserted rotated 180 °, as the contacts are the same on both sides of the connector.
In addition, high data rates, the use of different devices and functions at the same time, charging batteries with up to 100 W and other useful features must be considered. In the end, it's a step further, and technically the ideal successor to Lightning. Nevertheless, the same mechanical disadvantages as mentioned above are found in the comparison: a more susceptible, dirt-prone plug and a dust-prone socket.
In addition, a USB-C port does not have to mean Thunderbolt 3 or at least USB 3.2. The connection form is only an indication of the possible use, but no guarantee for the most modern features. A simple USB 2 connection with USB-C socket is therefore just as conceivable as a Thunderbolt 3 connection with power supply, video transmission and peripheral use at the same time ...
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In the end, it can perhaps be said: If you handle your USB-C accessories and your mobile device carefully, you won't have any major disadvantages. Because you can prevent soiling and bending the connector. On the other hand, it is currently still the case that plugs and sockets do not look at which technological standards can be supported and used.
This is again different with Lightning, but it brings a technology that needs to be overhauled in some areas. In the end, Apple would have to create a new kind of Lightning, which would annoy industry, politics and customers. USB-C for iPhone, iPad, MacBook and Co. are in and of themselves the better solution. Or? Feel free to write your opinion as a comment on the USB-C and Lightning comparison!
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.