When will Apple products all use the same charger?

Mildredop

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Oct 14, 2013
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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.
 

wiffle

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

QzzB

macrumors regular
Mar 7, 2015
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London
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.
 
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Mildredop

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Oct 14, 2013
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All the current Macs charge via USB??
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.
 

caramelpolice

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2012
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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.
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.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
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How odd then that the iPhone doesn't have USB-C.
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.
 

Mildredop

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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.
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.
 

T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
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Denmark
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.
The users doesn't seem to care much, given the hundreds of millions of iOS devices Apple are selling each year.
 

ZapNZs

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Jan 23, 2017
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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.
 

sunapple

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Jul 16, 2013
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The Netherlands
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.
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.
 

New_Mac_Smell

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Oct 17, 2016
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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).
 

jackoatmon

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2011
617
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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.
 

KGB7

Suspended
Jun 15, 2017
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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.
 

jerryk

macrumors 601
Nov 3, 2011
4,853
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SF Bay Area
No, as long as the iPhone needs a 5W charger and the MacBook Pro uses a 87W one. There's more than just connectors.
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.

http://www.usb.org/developers/powerdelivery/
[doublepost=1498667434][/doublepost]
I would guess it'll take the rest of the industry (outside Apple) 2-5 years to get on USB3c.
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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