A recent rumor suggests that Apple could limit the functionality of the iPhone 15 lineup’s USB-C port with a lightning-like authenticator chip.
In 2012, first-party and MFI-certified lightning ports started shipping with Integrated Circuit interfaces. These are semiconductor chips designed to manage information between devices.
For example, the IC on current iPhone ports confirms the authenticity of the accessory or parts involved in a connection. As a result, connecting non-MFI certified Lightning cables — that don’t have an IC chip — could trigger a “This accessory is not supported” message.
Last year, Apple confirmed that the iPhone would eventually switch to USB Type-C to conform with a new EU regulation.
A report shared on Weibo claims that the Cupertino-based tech giant has developed new Integrated Circuit interfaces specifically for USB-C ports and charging cables. That suggests that the future iPhones and MFI-certified accessories could get the new IC chip.
The message reads:
“Apple does it by itself and makes a type C, lightning interface IC, which will be used in this year’s new iPhone and MFI-certified peripheral devices.”
While the implication of adding the chip is currently unclear, reports suggest that it could impact a few functionalities. For example, it could limit data transfer speed from the iPhone 15 to non-MFI-certified accessories. Apple could also limit fast charging on non-supported accessories.
So what are the other advantages of an authenticator chip?
Benefits of the IC Chip on the iPhone 15 USB-C Port
Apple uses the Integrated Circuit chip to persuade customers to buy genuine iPhone accessories. That way, the tech giant can receive a commission on MFI-certified products. Besides, the authenticator chip provides a quick way to prevent potentially dangerous accessories.
That said, the USB-C interface on the latest iPads doesn’t have an IC chip for authentication. In other words, this would be the first Integrated Circuit for a USB Type-C port for any Apple device.