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Avoid Overspending for iPhone 15 USB-C Cables and Chargers

As someone who has written about the joys of USB-C for nearly a decade (for instance, in “USBefuddled: Untangling the Rat’s Nest of USB-C Standards and Cables,” 3 December 2021), it has been a delight to watch the 180°-reversible, high-speed, high-wattage cable standard march inexorably across the tech landscape, culminating with the iPhone 15 series.

The USB-C cable’s reversible orientation has always been a plus compared to USB Type-A (which apparently could have been reversible) and the wonky near-trapezoid of USB Micro Type-B. USB-C is also more robust—it’s less likely to snap or bend. Couple that with the ability to handle at least 60 watts and now up to 240W with the latest standards, and what’s not to like? (Thunderbolt 4, which uses the USB-C connector, demands a minimum cable wattage capability of 100W.)

If you buy one of the iPhone 15 models, you may find yourself digging around for the right cable or adapter to replace or complement the Lightning options you used in the past. (At least you won’t be stuck with unusable 30-pin-connected speaker systems orphaned in the Lightning transition a decade ago.) Avoid Apple’s $29 USB-C to Lightning adapter. It’s more expensive than most 2-foot-long cables with USB-C plugs on both ends rated for Thunderbolt 4/USB4 speeds of 40 Gbps and 100W.

Instead, I recommend upgrading cables instead of adding adapters. Why keep using a USB Type-A to Lightning cable for charging when you could get a USB Type-A to USB-C replacement for under $10? Or, if adapters still appeal, I encourage you to pick up a well-reviewed six-pack of Lightning, Type-A, and USB-C nubbin adapters for under $10. Carefully read reviews for third-party USB cables and adapters for comments about quality and overheating because not all meet the kind of standards Apple requires of Lightning-based products using the MFi branding and certification program.

Watch out for data transfer speeds: some Lightning adapters are designed solely to pass power, and then only at normal (not fast) charging speeds—that’s right: they pass no data whatsoever. Only somewhat better are the many charging-oriented USB-C cables that transfer data at only USB 2.0 rates of 480 Mbps. They include Apple’s new 240W USB-C Charge Cable and the USB-C cable that comes with every model of iPhone 15. If you buy an iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Plus, the USB-C connection maxes out at the USB 2.0 rate of 480 Mbps, so a cheaper cable will suit.

However, with an iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple provides 10 Gbps USB 3 support (technically, USB 3.2 Gen 2), which requires a cable that says it includes USB 3 support (all USB-C USB 3 cables start at 10 Gbps) or a Thunderbolt 4/USB4 cable, which are backward compatible with Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3. For help identifying USB cable capabilities, see “USB Simplifies Branding but Reintroduces Active Cables” (29 September 2022). I recommend OWC’s lineup of Thunderbolt 4/USB4 cables, which are well-made and affordable at every length. (If you’re dying to know more about the ins and outs of USB and Thunderbolt, particularly matching an appropriate cable, speed, and power, consult my book Take Control of Untangling Connections.)

You may find the greatest variability when it comes to chargers. Depending on the devices you want to power with a single charger, you may be well served with one that’s at least 20W, the minimum required for fast-charging an iPhone. I’ve long been fond of Anker’s chargers and USB batteries, and the $19.99 foldable-plug Nano 3 30W charger is powerful enough to charge an iPhone, iPad, or MacBook Air. The company also offers more expensive, high-wattage chargers, some with multiple ports, that rely on GaN (gallium nitride) semiconductors that perform well at high temperatures, enabling higher-powered chargers in compact form factors.

The joy of moving entirely to USB-C comes in packing just a single charger and a cable or two when you leave your home or office with power-hungry tech gear in your bag.

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Comments About Avoid Overspending for iPhone 15 USB-C Cables and Chargers

Notable Replies

  1. Excellent article, as usual. Thank you, @glennf.

    Perhaps the only nuance I’d add is that if somebody is out to get a good cable for data transfer on an new 15 Pro, there are less expensive alternatives to TB4 cables that will do everything you want. TB4 cables are hands down awesome and there’s good reason to go with them. But if all you want to do is charging and 10 Gbps data to a new iPhone 15, you can get that for less than half the price.

    0.7m/2.4’ TB4 from OWC is $24 and from CableMatters it $27 at 2.6’/0.8m.

    But this 10 Gbps USB-C 3.2 cable is just $14. It’s fine quality wise and besides high-speed data transfer it also charges anything at up to 100 W.
    https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-USB-IF-Certified-Delivery/dp/B01L0F6AJI/

    And if you give up full 100-W charging (for example so as to also charge your Mac) and instead settle for 60 W (which is still more than double what the iPhone needs), you’re now down to just $10.
    https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Basics-Charging-10Gbps-High-Speed/dp/B085SBNFQW/

  2. Yes, if cost is a real concern then I would definitely suggest a USB-C 3.2 cable. However, I think there’s enough confusion with USB-C cables already? So $14 versus $24 for peace of mind of never having to remember if it can pass 10 Gbps or 40 Gbps or whatever! Since you need just a single cable, it’s less of a big deal—if you had to buy three or five, it really adds up.

  3. Just a warning: the quality of Amazon Basics cables is highly variable (as is the case with most Amazon Basics products). A $10 cable sounds like a steal, but be aware that you have a reasonable chance of getting a bad one.

  4. I made that mistake. I got two Amazon Basic cables and BOTH were bad. Getting my money back was also a hassle. All to save a few bucks!

  5. I hadn’t read it, but now have. I think he’s both overstating the risk and not, paradoxically.

    A few years ago, a lot of USB-C cables were terrible. Benson Leung, who worked on the Pixel at Google (an early USB-C capable device) wound up on his own time testing and documenting earlier cables because some were dangerous at worst and specced wrong at best. Over the years, that’s changed a lot: the cables became cheaper to make well, and I think it’s hard to buy a bad cable unless you really spend next to nothing.

    So if you spend $5 on a USB 3-only USB-C cable and most cables are $10 to $20, then you are probably buying something no-name (or random name, like all the UXBKAC companies on Amazon), and you’re taking a risk. Brian is right (and the repair-shop he quotes, too) if millions or tens of millions of those cables are selling! That’s a huge risk.

    If you buy cables that have a lot of reviews, typically from well-known brands, there’s as little risk as could be imagined.

    Over eight years of using all sorts of USB-C cables, I have had zero go bad on me or heat up or cause errors—save one! Someone else in the family bought a cheaper USB-C cable and one of my kids was using it on a trip. I felt the cable, and it was blazing hot! They were charging their 14-inch MB Pro with it, and it was clearly out of spec. We ditched it, but it didn’t damage the laptop or catch on fire.

    Many USB-C cables lack chips to restrict the current powering your phone. So if you plug it into a source that charges at a higher voltage than your phone accepts, you could electrocute your phone, Ms. Jones said.

    I am not sure many is accurate here. It might that if you figured out the unit volume of all USB-C cables manufactured “many” could be right. But I think it does a hard service here, when essentially none of the cables that are sensible to buy by reviews and brand names are lacking those chips.

    It would be great if an industry association had a testing regime, but I think it’s just too much volume and things turn over too quickly to ever make that practical.

  6. Glenn:

    Many thanks for your thoughtful response. It is reassuring to know that legitimate USB-C cables do not in fact lack chips that restrict the current powering an iPhone. Brian Chang implies that this would completely go away with the demise of lightening cables. I hope this means that it will be OK to plug directly into hotel and airplane USB ports.

    Go well,

    John Heil
    St Louis

  7. This is a good and somewhat separate question! Right now, all the USB charging support I’ve seen in any public place was USB Type-A and I presume (but don’t know) that it’s limited to 5 or 12 watts (5V x 1A and 5V x 2.4A, common combinations). If companies start putting USB-C in place, it could still have limits—60W is the minimum cable requirement, but chargers aren’t required to deliver anything above a low minimum.

  8. I think the potential weak point of this system will be the port in the phone and not the cable. Time will tell if these larger ports are more prone to failure which could be due to leverage placed on them. The larger port may also have more problems remaining sealed against the elements and pocket lint. I am not certain that a weather sealed USB-C port can even fit in the width of the iPhone SE.

  9. I’d actually see this as an advantage of USB-C over Lightning. Unlike Lightning, which uses just a big open hole as its receptacle, the USB-C receptacle has a vane at the center where the actual contact is made (and indeed this vane is probably the weakest point compared to Lightning). But that USB-C receptacle design leaves a much smaller area on either side of the contact vane for ingress. I would expect fewer and only smaller objects to be able to get trapped in there compared to Lightning. Including lint.

  10. Most high-end Android phones have had USB-C for quite a while now, and, though I don’t have personal experience, I haven’t seen reports or stories that the port as being particularly problematic at all.

    My Beats earbuds case with USB-C doesn’t necessarily live in my pocket, but it’s there often enough, and I’ve no issues with those, either.

  11. Every usb-c to usb-c or usb-a-to-c or usb-c-t-lightning etc i bought from non-Apple brands has not functioned well or reliably or fast or consistently or long.

    The best usb-c cable i bought so far were by SuperCalla with magnets to curl the cables. But lately the super usb-c cable by MagFast launched, the best cables ever, fast, reliable, flexible, sturdy and beautiful.…they’re good for charging and data transfer. They start at $37, and now offer even faster speeds…

  12. The 6-pack of nubbin adapters that you linked doesn’t have a Lightning cable to USB C port connection, it goes the wrong way for what I need. I’m also confused by the plethora of different adapter options; some are for headphones, while others can transmit data. I’m trying to connect a Griffin iTripAux with AutoPilot to my new iPhone 15. Do I need data capability or headphone capability to get it to push music to my car stereo?

  13. This is about trying to transition to USB-C, not preserve Lightning cables, though!

  14. @Simon, that adapter is “unable to transfer data, unable to connect headphones”. I can find all sorts of adapters, but I can’t figure out what kind I actually need (see my original post). The Lightning cord is permanently connected, so I need an adapter, I can’t replace the cable.

  15. @Simon “Audio only, does not support charging”. I know I need “charging”, and I need either “headphone” or “data transfer”, but I have no idea which one this Griffin device needs. It has a Lightning cable for input, then it has an aux plug for music output to the stereo. Griffin Technologies has been sold to Incipio, but that was after this device was discontinued, so they won’t give me any support. The $29 Apple cord that Glenn mentioned at the top does all three, but I’d like to save a few bucks if I can.

  16. @Oakwine: If that $29 Apple adapter works for your use case, then consider it a bargain in that you don’t have to hope that the alternatives work and the time spent testing and/or debugging the solution.

  17. Ray

    I am buying all USB C cables and using these to bridge to the older iPhones and iPods

    30W, USB C Female to iOS 16 PD Fast Charge Adapter Compatible with iPhone 14 13 12 11 Pro Max, Xs,Xr, iPad, Convert MacBook Type-C Charging Cable, Data Sync,Holder,Case,Key Chain

    @Simon “Audio only, does not support charging”. I know I need “charging”, and I need either “headphone” or “data transfer”, but I have no idea which one this Griffin device needs. It has a Lightning cable for input, then it has an aux plug for music output to the stereo. Griffin Technologies has been sold to Incipio, but that was after this device was discontinued, so they won’t give me any support. The $29 Apple cord that Glenn mentioned at the top does all three, but I’d like to save a few bucks if I can.

  18. My husband just got an iPhone 15 pro and I’m still on an 11. Charging adapters are easy to find but our car has 1 usb-a port for Car Play. The a port is near the floor underneath the console (thanks, Kia) so not easy to switch out a lightning and c cable every time we switch drivers - we share the single car. The adapter listings I’ve seen are all over the map. The description might say “data” or even “carplay” but the details say it carries no audio.

    Has anyone seen an adapter that would work with CarPlay? Either one c> lightning or lightning >c would work because we have both types of cable.

    Or should I just bite the bullet and buy apple’s $29 adapter? Thanks C

  19. Or trade in the car for one with wireless CarPlay :grinning:

  20. Ray

    The adapter i mention above should work. Have the USB C cord in the car with the little adapter case velcroed or attached to the end that you can pop the lightning converter onto the USB C plug. I don’t know why it would not work with CarPlay

  21. That’s happened to me w/more than one Amazon Basics cable. It took me awhile to realize the problem I was having was directly due to the cable; once I replaced the cable w/another one (Anker), the problem was resolved.
    The same issue occurred when using another Amazon Basics cable, replaced it w/another Anker cable, & again the problem was resolved.
    In spite of the initial low cost, I’m no longer using any Amazon Basics cables. I’d rather spend a bit more on an Anker cable & not have to worry about replacing it.

  22. Both of the listings above and the others online have an image similar to this:


    If it won’t work with headphones keyboards mice or USB sticks, I don’t have much hope it will work with CarPlay
  23. Those things aren’t supported because USB OTG is not part of Lightning. But who cares? If you were interested in connecting headphones to an (older) iPhone you’d use Lightning headphones or an audio to Lightning dongle, but not go out and get USB headphones and then expect this adapter to get the job done. You don’t need USB OTG functionality bolted onto Lightning. You need Lightning because that is what CarPlay expects. This gets you Lightning (i.e. charging, analog audio, and USB2 data).

    But granted, if you’re skeptical about a certain adapter, at least here in the US, just get it from Amazon and return it if it doesn’t work to your liking. IME there’s never been an issue with getting a quick refund after sending them back an item that does not work to expectation. It’s literally a 3-click affair with drop-off anywhere at almost any time thanks to Whole Foods and UPS drop boxes.

  24. One of the serious drawbacks to switching to USB-C from Lightning is how disastrously unstandardized USB-C actually is. The different kind of cables is a giant pain.

  25. But it really doesn’t have to be complicated.

    If you want only charging, just make sure you the cable supports the wattage you need. You could always opt for 100/240W to make sure it’ll support anything, but that does make for a more expensive and rigid/thicker cable.

    If you want best data transfer, just get a TB4 cable. The extra $10 you pay over a 3.x gen mumble cable is the price to pay for not having to worry about the right cable.

    USB-C can be simple, efficient, and cheap. But you only get to choose 2 out of those 3 at any time. :wink:

  26. 100% standardized; nearly 100% badly described and labeled!

    Really, there are four kinds of cable:

    • Charging cable (480 Mbps USB 2.0 data maximum)
    • USB 3 cable (10 Gbps maximum)
    • Thunderbolt 3 cable (but connecting USB-only devices with it may only pass 480 Mbps)
    • Thunderbolt 4/USB4: all the speeds, all the power, all the time

    If the industry had developed a comprehensive, mandatory, and somewhat enforced labeling system, that would all be clear.

    As Simon says above, just get a Thunderbolt 4/USB4 cable when in doubt. If money is tight or you want a thinner cable, then you have to really examine what you’re buying.

  27. Thanks for the responses. I’m not convinced, though. With lightning, there was one cable to buy.* It did everything – power and data. The only thing you really had to watch out for was quality of cable.

    Now, I have to choose between lots of different kinds of cables that look the same and are labelled badly. I quote from a very prescient article**

    Here’s a partial list of the possible data and power support you could find in a cable with USB-C connectors on both ends:

    • USB 3.2: up to 20 Gbps and 15W (not in compliance with standards!)
    • USB 3.2: up to 20 Gbps and 60W
    • USB 3.2: up to 20 Gbps and 100W
    • Thunderbolt 3, passive, less than 0.5m: up to 40 Gbps and 100W (power delivery)
    • Thunderbolt 3, passive, 1 to 2m: up to 20 Gbps and 100W (power delivery)
    • Thunderbolt 3, active, up to 2m: up to 40 Gbps and 100W (power delivery)
    • USB 4.0: up to 20 Gbps and 60W
    • USB 4.0: up to 20 Gbps and 100W
    • USB 4.0: up to 20 Gbps and 240W
    • USB 4.0/Thunderbolt 4: up to 40 Gbps and 60W
    • USB 4.0/Thunderbolt 4: up to 40 Gbps and 100W
    • USB 4.0/Thunderbolt 4: up to 40 Gbps and 240W

    That’s not remotely standardized. Can I figure out which one to buy and stay with that consistently? Sure. But that’s not the same thing.

    *to be fair, the other end could be USB-A or USB-C – but at least they looked different from each other.
    **USBefuddled: Untangling the Rat’s Nest of USB-C Standards and Cables - TidBITS

  28. It’s a little outdated that fantastic article! It’s a cautionary tale.

    • Buy a Thunderbolt 4/USB4 cable and you’re basically good (unless you absolutely need 100W or 240W, in which case you need to read labels carefully when purchasing; rare; and most have 100W)
    • Thunderbolt 3 cables are the real PIA if you are connecting a USB 3.2/3.3-only device with a Thunderbolt 3 or USB 3.2/3.3 device. That’s less rare, but not impossible. Many Thunderbolt 3 cables do have a lightning bolt plus 3 on them, but not all.

    In the list you cite, it’s mostly about power, with some issues about maximum speed (10 Gbps works for most purposes) or maximum length relative to power.

  29. Really for me all that I will need is a Power Delivery cable for iPhone, as I have for iPad. I’ll never connect either device to my Mac for anything other than a redundant Finder backup. When I travel with my MBA (rare), I either carry the MagSafe cable, or I’ll use the cable for the iPad if I’m in a pinch and need some charging. (I still don’t have a USB-C iPhone, but probably will next spring, and by then I’ll probably also have a new Kindle with USB-C, replacing my last microUSB device.)

    We just purchased a new car in March and one thing I loved about it is that it came with a packet of cables with various ends - lightning, USB-C, and microUSB, all with USB-A on the other end (plus a dual USB-A “cigarette lighter” charger for when we don’t want to connect to the car and interrupt whatever the car is using for wireless CarPlay.)

  30. So I appreciate everyone guiding me to the right cable to buy, but perhaps someone could explain why this is better?

  31. You mean the Thunderbolt 4/USB4 one? It’s just fully compliant and up to 100W. If you get one from OWC or another reputable outfit, you’re set. If you need > 100W, then there aren’t many options (or any besides Apple’s special one for the large MBP?).

    Any other cable, you may have a lower maximum wattage or performance between two arbitrary USB-C jacks on different devices. With that cable, you should always get either 20 Gbps or likely 40 Gbps at up to 100W power.

  32. Sorry, I framed that wrong. Why is USB C better than lightning given the complete craziness on standardization?

  33. If you have an older Lightning iPhone, you are free to keep on using Lightning — nothing wrong with that.

    OTOH if you’re getting a new iPhone 15 you have no choice really, so why bother pondering if Lightning would have been better? You can try to see benefits from the switch, like, for example, now you can use the same cable to charge your Mac and your iPhone.

  34. There’s no craziness unless you make it so now!

    USB-C is simpler, reversible, more resilient, and universal. Cables are increasingly falling into a handful of categories.

  35. How is that different from Lightning?

    Even thought it’s proprietary, it’s ubiquitous. For the last decade I could go anywhere and borrow a charging cable and top off my phone. Now it’ll be, “Wait, which connector is this?” (Murphy’s law says you’ll always have the wrong connector when you’re desperate for a cable.)

    The only advantage to USB-C I see is that can handle more power, but that only applies if you’re using USB-C bricks. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve got USB-A plugs everywhere, so even with a USB-C adapter, they aren’t going to give me more power. I get zero benefit and tons of hassle.

    Oh, I guess you can transfer data faster if you get a Pro 15. But I literally haven’t connected a phone to a Mac in years, so that’s of minimal benefit. Maybe I’d use that once a year to transfer some videos, if I remember and I have a high-data USB-C cable (which I probably don’t).

    I hear some saying USB-C is more reliable. I haven’t seen any data, but anecdotally, the only issues I’ve had with Lightning have been on the cable side, where they get worn out. Since I started using braided cables years ago, zero problems. I’ve never ever had an issue with the connector itself.

    (I also like that Lightning is distinct and easier to identify. USB-C looks too much like all the other 50-million USB variants that drive me nuts.)

  36. I’m thinking of both USB Type-A and Lightning. Lightning is outdated, but reversible; Type-A is outdated, and not reversible.

    Nearly everybody I know is sick of Lightning because of poor-quality cables, many from Apple, which was very disappointing. I have had, to my recollection, zero USB-C fray or fail from any maker across the last eight years.

    We’ve converging to USB-C. It’s all inevitable. The sooner we migrate, the less incompatible plugs and jacks we have.

  37. That’s the difference: Lightning is proprietary. Nobody but Apple puts Lightning connectors on their devices, because they would have to pay Apple a licensing fee to use it.

    USB-C is not proprietary. It’s also already the standard on non-Apple devices.

    The EU ruling that led to Apple switching the iPhone 15 to USB-C stated that there needed to be a single standard for charging connectors (unfortunately, they failed to mandate that the cables should also fit a single standard, hence the issues). Since the only way everyone else is going to switch to Lightning is if Apple makes it free to use, they’re all sticking with USB-C. Apple is the odd one out, so they’re the ones that have to switch.

    That’s literally all that this is about: a forced standard in a single large economic market. It’s not economical for Apple to make the same models of iPhone with different connectors for different markets, in part because of the difference in size of the ports and associated hardware. So everyone is stuck with USB-C moving forward.

    All the other issues about which port is better is technobabble that most people will never care about. Most of us just want to be able to pick up a cable, look at the connector, and know immediately whether we can use it.

    The only way to un-muddy the USB-C cable market is for someone to enforce proper labeling for all cables and ports (on the cables and ports themselves, not just on the packaging), and/or fewer available standards for throughput. That’s pretty much not going to happen, at least, not at a level that’s better than what there is now.

    Maybe someday, there will be a genuinely universal USB standard. Anyone holding out hope for USB-D?

  38. The complaints about the change to USB-C are nothing new. The only difference this time is that the iPhone is actually behind the curve here so much of the support needed is already in place. Apple has gradually been eliminating the older USB portsand cables from their products; I charge my remaining Lightining port devices (Keyboards, mouse, trackpad, AirPod Max, and AirpodPro 2) with cables that have a USB-C connector on the other end. Note that Simon, in an earlier post, showed that it is east to get a tiny coverter for older USB posts in lagacy chargers. I’ve certainly been making sure that are USB-C ports in every charger I’be dealt with for the last several years. 10 years is long life for a maverick connector. Let’s rejoice in joiniing the standard world again.

    I believe that a basic USB-C cable matches Lightning in both power and data carrying capacity. The messiness comes when you want to more.

  39. Sure, but that’s an argument of the “Well, everyone’s jumping off the cliff, so just close your eyes and follow along” variety.

    Glenn:

    USB-C is simpler, reversible, more resilient, and universal

    It doesn’t seem simpler, reversible is a marginal advantage, I don’t know about resilient, and it’ll be universal until the next one comes along – and I bet that’ll be a shorter time period than the 10 years we got with lightning.

    Marquelle:

    That’s literally all that this is about: a forced standard in a single large economic market

    That’s what it seems like to me as well. In 3-4 years, when the EU mandates whatever succeeds USB-C, we’re going to have to dump those cable for all new ones (or tiny adaptors). And again after another 4 years (well, maybe everything will be wireless by then). Apple’s bowing to the inevitability of state action but I’m not sure the vast majority of users are getting much advantage from it.

    Eh. Not much point discussing it at this moment, given the way things are going.

  40. I admit I was very skeptical about those adapters working but took your word for it and ordered the ones with the little rubber connector to keep it attached to the end of the usb c cable. It arrived today and sure enough it works just fine.

    Thanks for your guidance! C

    As an aside, the body of the adapter plug is just a bit bigger than the hole in my case for the lightning cable. It connects but not tightly and probably won’t withstand the bumps of driving. Easy enough to make the hole a bit bigger. It’s something to consider tho if anyone decides which of the million of those adapters to buy.

  41. I have an older car with USB A plugs for Apple CarPlay. I have read that there are issues connecting USB A to USB C for iPhone 15. I don’t see any USB A to USB C cable from Apple. Will a USB A to USB C adapter attached to a USB C to USB C cord provide CarPlay connection? And - is Thunderbolt 4 overkill for this type of use?

  42. What issues? Please share any links you may have.

    Regarding A-to-C cables/adapters in general, there are three kinds you may run across:

    • Charge-only. These can’t move data at all. They’re primarily intended to let you charge your device in a location where you can’t trust the port you’re plugging in to (e.g. public chargers in a restaurant or airport or hotel room)

    • USB 2. These only connect the data pins for USB-2 data. Which means they will deliver a maximum data throughput of 480 Mbps.

    • USB 3. These connect the data pins for USB-3 data (and should, I assume, also connect the USB-2 data pins). These should support SuperSpeed connections up to 10 Gbps.

    As long as you know what you bought (any reputable manufacturer will print it on the packaging), there shouldn’t be any problems.

    It should. But take note about which kind of adapter you’re getting. Some are USB 2 and some are USB 3. If your car or phone only supports USB 2 connectivity, you probably don’t have to care, but if both have USB 3 support, then you will want a USB 3 adapter in order to take advantage of the faster connection.

    Thunderbolt is incompatible with a type-A connector. Sure, you can use a TB4 cable in conjunction with a USB A-to-C adapter, but I personally think that’s paying extra money for a feature you won’t be using.

    But others here have voiced the opposite opinion - they recommend buying TB4 cables for everything just so you don’t need to think about what kind you need.

  43. CarPlay over Lightning expects power and 480 Mbps data. Here’s an $8 cable that will do exactly that. That same cable also comes in 3’ or 10’.

    https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Basics-Charging-Transfer-Certified/dp/B085SBKM7Y/

    Some people like to spend more on “brand” cables. Anker loves to cater to that crowd. Here’s the same cable for a whopping $23.

    https://www.amazon.com/Anker-Powerline-Durability-Samsung-MacBook/dp/B01M3NB6FB/

    Yes. And in fact, it won’t work. You need USB-A on one end.

  44. I just bought a cheap Amazon Basics USB-A to USB-C cable and it is working fine with CarPlay in my car with iPhone 15.

  45. Here’s a different issue:

  46. Thanks for the link. After reading the article, it’s hard to say if the problem is due to the cable or something else, given the fact that some people are having no problems with the exact same cables/adapters that others are seeing failures on.

    Right now, my gut feeling is leaning toward the “something else” category. Quite possibly bugs in the car’s firmware (I’ve experienced plenty of other kinds of bugs in the past when it comes to car-phone/car-ipod connectivity). Or Apple changed their implementation in a way that broke connectivity to certain cars.

    As a software developer, I have seen countless examples of where there is a standard and manufacturers choose to not implement the entire standard, but cherry-pick the features they think they will need and ignore the rest. And they often don’t test their software according to the spec, but based simply on what works at the time.

    Which inevitably means that at some time in the future, the device(s) they need to interoperate with will change their implementation in a way that, while still fully compliant to the spec, now breaks the connection. And they will blame everybody but themselves.

    We don’t have any hard facts at this time, but I could easily see this being yet another example of sloppy software development on the part of automakers, who already have a reputation of not caring much about the quality of the infotainment system (except maybe for subscription features, since they’d actually lose money if people stop subscribing).

  47. Personally, I have been purchasing Anker brand cables on Amazon for a number of years now. Not only can you get longer cables, but they are much thicker than Apple’s flimsy cables as well, which means more durability. The only problem is when my two cats discover that I am charging my phone while I am in bed. Thus, I buy my cables three or four at a time so that I am prepared for unexpected feline surprises. :slight_smile: :smile_cat:

  48. I strongly agree about Anker cables, In addition to being well constructed, durable, long lasting and beautifully braided, they coil very easily. And comparatively, they are reasonably priced. I think their chargers are the best in their class as well. Apple and Amazon’s cables and chargers just didn’t last as long as Anker’s have done for us, and Anker stuff is usually costs at least a little less than the others.

  49. I just realized a simple fact about obtaining USB-C 3.2 cables (driven by purchasing some SSDs at Amazon Prime Days). For the most part, devices sold with USB-C 3.2 capability usually come with cables that can support them. If those cables are of sufficient length for you, there is no need to worry about the differences in speed. So, just be sure to use devices capable of high data rates with cables that come with such devices.

  50. That’s often the rub. An included 8" cable rarely will cut the mustard.

    Although I will admit, the included 8" cable that came with a cheap 3.2 hub I once purchased was ideal for that specific application. I’d say that, in my case, that was the exception to prove the rule. :wink:

  51. Samsung included 18" cables cable ties) with the T7 Shield. They actually included 2 full cables (USB-C and USB-A to USB-C) rather than just a USB-A cap in addition to a USB-C cable.

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