Why did Apple stick to Goal C.

Lightning versus USB-C: Of advantages and disadvantages

With the "hype" surrounding USB-C, you can't get rid of the feeling that Apple has once again baked its own rolls with Lightning. But that's not entirely true. Because Apple introduced Lightning with the iPhone 5 in 2012. USB-C, however, was only "finalized" in August 2014.

How long has Lightning been around?

In 2012, the Lightning connector replaced the 30-pin connector that Apple introduced with the iPod in 2002. Although the iPhone manufacturer also worked on the design of USB-C, it then introduced Lightning beforehand. The design of the connector is similar.

Unlike with third-party standards, Apple has the option of implementing new functions for the connection itself. But the truth is that Lightning hasn't changed much since it was first introduced. An advantage that Lightning had over MicroUSB and other USB variants at the time, you can never insert the connector the wrong way round.

Advantages and disadvantages of Lightning

  • Pros: Widely used in Apple products
  • Pro: thin connector
  • Pro: balanced socket
  • Pro: Lightning connector is more robust than USB-C
  • Con: originally charging with a maximum of 12W, with USB-C to Lightning cable and USB-C charger also more
  • Con: Data transfer speed partly only at USB-2 level, since 2015 also with 5 GBps

What is USB-C all about?

USB-C (actually Type C) is an industry standard for a plug and connection. It is supported by dozens of manufacturers, including Apple. In addition to a theoretical functional framework, USB-C with USB 3.1 above all offers a new style of plug and connection that can never be plugged in the wrong way.

Unfortunately, the connector doesn't tell you which technology is used. Apple, for example, uses USB-C ports on the current MacBook Pro and iMacs, but these work with Thunderbolt technology and thus, in theory, even higher data transfer speeds. At the same time, there are smartphones in the low-cost sector that use USB-C as a connector design, but only use USB 2 as the technology. This results in significantly lower data transfer speeds.

Advantages and disadvantages of USB-C

  • Pro: meanwhile established industry standard
  • Pro: balanced socket
  • Pro: Charging with up to 100W
  • Pro: data transfer with up to 10 Gbps
  • Pro: supports DisplayPort with up to 8K resolution
  • Pro: backwards compatible with VGA, DVI, USB 2 and HDMI (via adapter)
  • Con: The shape of the connector does not provide information about its function

If you can use USB-C ports with USB 3.1 or Thunderbolt 3 technology in a device, these offer advantages over Apple's Lightning.