What is the difference between Lightning cable and USB-C cable?

Answered by Michael Wilson

The Lightning cable and USB-C cable are both used for charging and transferring data between devices, but they have some key differences. I have personally used both types of cables and have noticed distinct variations in their performance.

1. Current Capacity: One of the main differences between the Lightning cable and USB-C cable is the maximum current they can carry. The Lightning cable has a maximum current capacity of 2.4A, while the USB-C cable can handle up to 3A and even up to 5A in some cases. This means that the Lightning cable allows less power to be delivered to the device being charged under the same voltage.

2. Fast Charging: Due to its higher current capacity, the USB-C cable is more suitable for fast charging compared to the Lightning cable. I have experienced this firsthand when charging my devices. When using a USB-C cable with a fast charging adapter, my devices charge noticeably faster compared to when using a Lightning cable.

3. Power Delivery: Another advantage of the USB-C cable is its ability to deliver higher power levels. USB-C cables support power delivery protocols, which enable them to deliver more power to compatible devices. This is particularly useful for charging laptops and other power-hungry devices. In contrast, the Lightning cable is primarily used with Apple devices and may not support high power delivery.

4. Reversibility: One notable feature of the USB-C cable is its reversible design. This means that you can plug the cable into a device without worrying about the orientation of the connector. This is a small but convenient feature that I find helpful, especially when connecting my devices in low-light situations.

5. Compatibility: The Lightning cable is primarily used with Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, and iPods. On the other hand, the USB-C cable is becoming increasingly popular and is now widely used in various devices, including Android smartphones, tablets, laptops, and even some peripherals. This broader compatibility makes the USB-C cable more versatile and convenient for charging and data transfer across different devices.

The Lightning cable and USB-C cable have differences in current capacity, fast charging capabilities, power delivery, reversibility, and compatibility. The USB-C cable generally offers faster charging and higher power delivery, making it more suitable for charging power-hungry devices. However, the Lightning cable remains a popular choice for Apple device users due to its specific compatibility.