Will Apple limit iPhone 15 fast charging to its own accessories?

Just because your iPhone 15 can fast charge doesn't mean Apple will let you

iPhone 15 smartphone
(Image credit: 4RMD)

I'm as excited about the iPhone 15 as anyone, because we're expecting some significant upgrades to the hardware – especially in the iPhone 15 Pro model. But one of the changes could be a bit disappointing. According to industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the USB-C port that's replacing the Lightning ports of the iPhone 14 will support fast charging – but Apple may limit the feature to its own accessories and accessories from firms who pay for Made for iPhone certification.

That's a problem for two reasons. One, it means that any existing USB-C cables or USB-C chargers you've got won't let you charge at full speed if they're not Apple ones. And two, it means you'll have to pay more for your cables because Made For iPhone certification isn't free. 

What's the problem with USB-C in the iPhone 15?

Depending on who you talk to, the Made For iPhone programme is either a way of ensuring that accessories for Apple products meet the highest possible standards – or it's a way for Apple to get money from suppliers without really doing anything. 

I'm in the latter camp, because Apple's insistence on certification has caused problems in the past; one of the reasons HomeKit isn't a bigger deal is because Apple's initial insistence on certification via an authentication chip meant that HomeKit products cost a lot more than rival smart home products. 

It's also against the spirit of the EU legislation behind Apple's move to USB-C. The whole point of a standard charging platform was to reduce electronic waste and boost competition, but if Apple is artificially limiting iPhone charging to a subset of USB devices then that's not helping with either objective.

I'm not saying that it's okay for the market to be flooded with highly flammable cables from faraway factories churning out cheapies to sell on auction sites. But that's not really an issue on Android, so I don't see why it'd be any more of an issue on iPhone.

I'm already drowning in high quality cables and adapters from reputable manufacturers, and it seems awfully anti-consumer to tell us that we need to go out and buy brand new ones so that Apple can make a few more dollars when the ones we've got are perfectly good. This is definitely one area where, if the reports are true, I'd urge Apple to think different.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).