When will Apple products all use the same charger?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mildredop, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. Mildredop macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2013
    Apart from my MacBook Pro, every portable item I own charges using micro USB - phone, tablet, camera, Go Pro, headphones, bluetooth transmitter etc etc.

    Will there ever be a day where my Mac can also charge using USB so I only need to take one charger with me?

    I want a new Mac but there seem to be too many things about the design that could change imminently and a lack of consistency across the Mac range which is stopping me from making a purchase.
  2. QueenTyrone macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2016
  3. rapicell macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2013
    The current MacBook pro design does charge with usb, just not micro as devices are slowly going to USB-C overall
  4. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
  5. wiffle macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2017
    Can't see this happening for a long time. They make buckets from proprietary cable technologies and licensing agreements.
  6. QzzB macrumors regular


    Mar 7, 2015
    Personally I like Lightning. It works either way of attaching which micro-usb doesn't. I have had my old android phone have the usb wear away before. I like the idea of USB-C as can charge in any port and any port can also be a usual port. Wouldn't mind if apple switched to USB-C across the entire range.
  7. Doelago macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2017
    All the current Macs charge via USB??
  8. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    MacBook Air doesn't.
  9. Mildredop thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2013
    Do they? I wasn't aware of that. So if I buy a new Mac it would charge using my phone's USB-C charger? (Although my phone is currently micro USB)

    How odd then that the iPhone doesn't have USB-C.
  10. caramelpolice macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2012
    The current MacBook Pros and 12" MacBooks charge over USB, yes.

    The challenge - especially for the 15" Pro - is finding a charger that can supply enough power to keep the laptop charged.
  11. von franklin macrumors regular

    von franklin

    May 31, 2015
    That would be great, yet I am sure it will change one more time before then
  12. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    It seems odd on the surface, until you think of licensing. Apple makes a large amount of money by charging third parties for Lightning support. A move to standard USB would kill off that revenue stream.
  13. Mildredop thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2013
    I get that it's a great money-earner for Apple, but it's not very convenient for the user. And, as I pointed out, when the majority of other products use the same chargers/connectors, using something proprietary isn't a great selling point.
  14. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    The users doesn't seem to care much, given the hundreds of millions of iOS devices Apple are selling each year.
  15. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    Hopefully within 3-5 years or sooner. USB-C is the first connector that is truly capable of doing this, and makes huge improvements over the various connectors used prior. I despise Micro/Mini USB with a passion (I cannot begin to tell you how many devices come in to where I work at that have been rendered useless due to those crap connectors failing.) If the next iPhone uses Lightning, I am going to be very disappointed.
  16. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    When they all use the same size battery I'd imagine.
  17. Toutou macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2015
    Prague, Czech Republic
    No, as long as the iPhone needs a 5W charger and the MacBook Pro uses a 87W one. There's more than just connectors.
  18. sunapple macrumors 65816


    Jul 16, 2013
    The Netherlands
    The only things that changed regarding charging over the last decade in Apple's lineup were 30-pin to Lightning in 2012 and MagSafe to USB-C in 2016 (and MagSafe 1 to 2 in 2012).

    Lightning is for portable devices and that probably won't change soon (Lightning is also smaller than USB-C I think).

    USB-C on the MacBooks though is very good news. You can just exchange cables if they ever decide to change it or use an adapter.
  19. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    If you're really dead set on carrying a single charger, you only need the MacBook one. All of your other can be charged from the MacBook's USB port(s).
  20. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2016
    An iPhone can charge from a 87w MBP charger, but not the other way around. Simply cannot provide enough power and it's highly unlikely that they'll start shipping phones with 100w chargers!

    What's more probable is wireless charging, having a basestation integrated into WiFi networks or using the MBP itself as a power distributor. But we're a long way off being able to provide that kind of power transfer wirelessly.

    Also pretty sure Apple's use of Lightning on the iPhones is down to manufacturers of accessories and not Apple's revenue stream. I'm sure it makes money for them but it's going to be pitiful compared to anything else. Apple make all their money from services these days, hardware sales are easily eclipsed by iTunes/Apple Music/App Store sales. So they wouldn't loose any sleep by ditching Lightning for USB-C, but they could face some backlash from manufacturers who sell exclusive 'Apple' products, purely because making something just for Apple usually commands a higher price and an atmosphere of 'Luxury' when compared to everyday USB devices. They could swap to USB-C, or they could hang onto Lightning for a few more years and go completely wireless (Obviously unlikely but I'd imagine they're trying to solve the technical problems).
  21. jackoatmon macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2011
    Well apple is going to the Thunderbolt 3/USB3c thing, so presumably they'll release iPhones and iPads on that standard this year, at which point all their new products will be on it. So it will be possible probably by October for all your Apple products to be on the same standard. I would guess it'll take the rest of the industry (outside Apple) 2-5 years to get on USB3c.
  22. KGB7 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2017
    Rockville, MD
    Google and Samsung have made a move towards usb-c, so it's a matter of time when all devices will use same ports.

    Users need to move more and more data at high speeds and usb-c does this really well.
  23. jerryk, Jun 28, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017

    jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    You need the proper cables, but that is all covered in the spec. So the same charger and proper cable can be used with a MacBook and an iPhone.

    --- Post Merged, Jun 28, 2017 ---
    A lot of the industry is already on USB-C. Android phones from LG, Motorola, and other have had it since 2014. Dell XPS laptops have provided USB-C and USB-A ports since 2015. Google Pixel phones and tablets use USB-C. Samsung switched in Summer 2016.

    iPhones needs to catch up with the rest of the industry.

    And after adding a USB-C connector maybe Apple can add wireless charging to the iPhone. Android phones have had that since 2013.

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