Apple apparently plans to limit iPhone USB-C functionality
Thanks to new EU regulations coming into effect next year, Apple has no choice but to finally adopt the USB-C port for its iPhones. And yet, as happens many times with Apple, there seems to be a twist.
According to a new rumor out of China, the company plans to use a custom integrated circuit (IC) interface for the port, which would allow it to authenticate the parts involved in the connection.
If this sounds familiar to you, it’s because that’s exactly what Apple has done with its Lightning port. The authentication process built into the Lightning interface is what pops up the “This accessory is not supported” warnings if you’re using something that isn’t made by Apple and isn’t part of its “Made for iPhone” either -licensing program, which is a lucrative side business.
As this is of course a rumour, it should be taken with a grain of salt. It’s also worth noting that none of Apple’s mobile devices that already use USB-C have anything similar built-in. Then again, this certainly sounds like something Apple would do, so there’s that.
It’s unclear whether the addition of the custom IC chip would really have any major implications in terms of the functionality of non-Apple, non-MFi accessories, but it’s possible that certain features like fast charging and high-speed data transfer may be limited to “authentic” accessories. It’s unlikely that they simply wouldn’t work, as the EU would most likely intervene in such a scenario – as it would break the whole reason USB-C was mandated as a universal interface.
In previous rumors about iPhone USB-C limitations, it has been said that only the Pro iPhones will get fast charging and data speeds, while the vanilla models will use USB 2.0 speeds, which are identical to Lightning’s.