Don’t throw away your lightning chargers yet, these Apple-certified adapters can save you money and battery.
Apple has just launched the new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro lineups, and with it are finally taking a step into this decade by doing away with their proprietary lightning port in lieu of the almost universally used USB-C port. The port that was first used on a smartphone in 2015 makes its way to iPhone and AirPods in 2023. If you’ve been a longtime user of Apple devices then you may already own some USB-C cables from your iPad or MacBook, but if that’s not the case then don’t assume you have to throw out your old lightning cables and replace them all with USB-C.
Apple has a long history of retaining some degree of control over the consumer experience with its devices far past the point they leave the Apple Store. Actions to this end have ranged from serializing the parts on your phone to your motherboard and warning you when non-genuine parts have been used, to restricting the use of Face ID or Touch ID on phones repaired with after-market parts. It seems the migration to USB-C will be no different, as its clear Apple will be using their MFi certification program and some clever engineering to make sure the best options for adapters and cables are the ones it sells, and that certainly the ones with the most functionality are the ones baring its name.
If you find yourself in need of one, there are a couple of good options out there for lightning to USB-C adapters. These will come particularly in handy if you still have lightning port devices in your household and will be switching back and forth. We’ve done the research for you to highlight the best options currently available on the market, and explain what MFi certification is, and why it matters for the well-being of your new device.
Apple USB-C to Lightning Adapter
Overall Best Pick
It wouldn’t be Apple without another new accessory that millions of people are likely to buy. With the release of the new iPhone 15 lineup, Apple has released its proprietary USB-C to Lightning adapter. Apples in-house solution ensures compatibility with audio, charging, and data all in cable as well as support for Apple CarPlay.
Anker USB-C to Lightning Audio Adapter
Best for Headphones
If you’ve been rocking a set of lightning headphones that you’re not looking forward to replacing, then the Anker USB-C to Lightning Audio Adapter is the perfect fit for your needs. While this adapter doesn’t support charging or data, it serves its singular purpose well. The Anker sells for a lower price point and is less bulky than the all-in-one option.
Is there a chance I already have some USB-C cables lying around my home?
There is absolutely a fantastic chance you already have USB-C cables somewhere in the nooks and crannies of your home. For years MacBook Pros and laptops from a number of other brands have used USB-C for charging, so you might have one from those devices. Additionally, if you or anyone you live with has ever owned an Android smartphone in the few years they almost certainly use USB-C to charge their Android phone. Before buying additional accessories or cables do a once over and make sure you don’t already have some. If you find that all you have is lighting cables then these adapters would serve you well.
Will any USB-C to Lightning adapter I see online work with my new iPhone 15 series phone?
The switch from Lightning to USB-C on iPhone has been a long time coming. While it’s a welcome change for the universality of charging cables and the ease with which consumers can accessorize and buy peripherals for their Apple and non-Apple devices, it also means a throng of charging accessory manufacturers will come out of the wood work and release adapters left and right. Before you use any 3rd party cable or adapter with your new iPhone or AirPods you’ll want to be sure that what you bought is MFi certified. The “Made For i” program is Apple’s way of certifying third party vendor products as safe for use with their lineup of devices. Always make sure you are buying an MFi certified product and if you are ever skeptical of a particular listings claim that its product is MFi certified, you can check directly with Apple here.
Do I need a USB-C to Lightning adapter?
If you’ve spent years collecting lightning cables and lightning port compatible accessories, take solace that you are not alone. The lightning ecosystem has been a major push by Apple since its introduction in 2012. If you got tired of using the dongle for 3.5mm aux headphones and finally bought lightning port headphones, you’ll find yourself reliving that transition all over again. In that case an audio exclusive adapter like the one from Anker is your best bet. If you have that one favorite extra long or ultra durable lightning cable that you’ve become accustomed to, it may be worth investing in Apples in house adapter which functions for charging, audio, and data transfer all in one adapter.