The iPhone The 15’s USB-C port may still require MFi-certified cables

News Summary:

  • The European Union finalized new regulations requiring a universal charging standard, specifically USB-C, in October 2022. The iPhone 14 might have USB-C, but the iPhone 17 will undoubtedly need it due to the law’s effective date and the devices it covers.

  • A dubious rumor about the iPhone 15 claims that Apple will define what interchangeability between charging cables means in the context of the EU’s new USB-C law.

According to an unconfirmed rumor that was posted on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, Apple may follow the letter of the law but not its spirit.

In this context, “MFI” refers to Apple’s “Made for iPhone” certification scheme. As part of the program, Apple sells connectors and chips for authentication as well as certifies accessories. Apple reduced the fees it charged for this licensing system as long ago as 2014, and while it’s now hardly used, it’s still in place.

A user going by the name Mobile Phone Chip Expert posted, “Apple has made its own type C, lightning interface IC which will be used on this year’s new iPhone and MFI-certified peripherals.”

According to the most recent iteration of Apple’s “Made for iPhone” page, the program “gives you access to the technical specifications and resources needed to create accessories that communicate with Apple devices using MFi technologies and components.”

If the Weibo user is right, Apple might only accept USB-C cables that have been approved by the MFI program. Users who attempt to use an uncertified USB-C cable may receive a warning and experience limitations in power delivery, data speed, or both.

But the current iPad lineup includes USB-C charging. No indication exists that the types of cables that can be used for that are similarly constrained.

Apple has argued that this new rule will result in more e-waste, and AppleInsider has previously criticized EU lawmakers for how it was written. However, creating a common standard is the goal, not getting manufacturers to ignore it. The leaker in question has no prior experience, and it is impossible to verify their assertions about having worked in the field. Over the years, the value of Apple’s MFi program has diminished, and as was already mentioned, there is no requirement for chargers and USB-C cables on the iPad lineup.