Is Apple Going to Screw iPhone 15 Users by Limiting Accessories?

A new rumor suggests the move to a USB-C port may come with restrictions

Lightning and USB-C cables are seen with Apple iPhone in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on September 25, 2021.
The Lightning cable may go away, but Apple's control of your phone accessories may stay
Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Due to new European regulations, Apple pretty much has to make its next iPhone iteration with a USB-C port instead of the company’s Lightning connector. But a worrying rumor suggests Apple might not make it that easy for people to utilize their existing cables with the new phone; per TechRadar, USB accessories for the iPhone 15 may need MFi certification, which is a certification handled by…Apple.

A tech leaker who goes under the moniker ShrimpApplePro (23K followers) recently tweeted out that “usb-c with MFI is happening.” MFi stands for Apple’s “Made for iPhone” program — and the tech giant Apple’s program can limit the functionality and performance of accessories that don’t meet this standard.

This rumor follows a previous claim on the Chinese site Weibo that the new iPhones will come with an authenticator chip, which would limit the functionality of accessories that aren’t Apple approved.

Apple has reasons for doing this that aren’t just a middle finger to Europe’s regulations: It makes them money, as the company charges third-party accessory makers a fee to get that certified MFi label. And there is a level of quality control; cheap or poorly-made USB-C cables can damage your tech.

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Since there’s no proof at the moment, we’re left to speculate. Currently, iPads don’t have MFi certification restrictions, so if Apple’s being consistent, they wouldn’t apply these rumored USB-C standards to the new iPhones. So for now, hold on to your myriad of cables, as maybe none, some or all of them will work with the next Apple device.

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