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iPhone without USB-C is fragmenting the Apple ecosystem



iphone pixel macbook usb cAntonio Villas-Boas/Business

  • Apple’s iPhones come with USB-A-to-Lightning charging cables,
    which you can’t plug into Apple’s latest laptop.
  • Apple’s new MacBook Air comes with USB-C without an adapter
    or separately sold cable.
  • Google’s Pixel 3 phones come with a charging cable that has
    USB-C on both ends, so it’s easier to plug into Apple’s new
    USB-C-only laptops.
  • It shows a lack of cohesion between Apple’s most popular
    device, the iPhone, and its other important devices like the new
    iPad Pro with USB-C and its USB-C laptops.

Apple’s new MacBook Air doesn’t come with regular USB ports,
which means you can’t plug in an iPhone directly into it. This is
now the case with all of Apple’s new laptops.

In fact, it’s easier to plug in Google’s latest Pixel 3
smartphone directly into Apple’s latest laptops than it is an
iPhone. Google’s Pixel 3 smartphones comes with a charging cable
that has USB-C on both ends, which means you can plug the cable
into the Pixel 3 and Apple’s new laptops. 

macbook usb c charging cables
The experience of a Pixel
user and a new MacBook versus the experience of an iPhone user
and a new MacBook.

Villas-Boas/Business Insider

Indeed, Apple refreshed its MacBook Air lineup and removed the
regular USB ports entirely, replacing them with two simple
USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports. That means Apple’s entire lineup of
its latest laptops, including the MacBooks, new MacBook Air, and
MacBook Pros, don’t come with regular USB ports. 

The problem here isn’t so much that Apple ditched the regular USB
ports on its new laptops — although, that can be a problem for
some — but more that Apple doesn’t include a USB-C cable with its
iPhones. There’s seemingly little cohesion between two of Apple’s
popular devices when cohesion within its ecosystem is one of the
main draws of adopting the Apple ecosystem.

If for nothing else, having an iPhone that can easily plug into a
new Apple laptop is nice for charging your iPhone. It used to be
an option while you’re out and about and on the move, where there
might not be a wall outlet to plug your iPhone into. It’s still
an option, to be clear, but you need to spend more money to have
that option.

You can buy a
USB-C to Lightning cable for $20
, or a USB-C
adapter with a regular USB port
, which also costs $20. It’s
just odd that you need to buy an optional extra accessory to plug
in an iPhone into Apple’s own devices. 

ipad proApple

Or, why doesn’t Apple just switch the iPhone’s charging port to
USB-C, like it did with its new iPad Pro? During its October 2018
event, Apple said itself that the iPad Pro can charge an iPhone.
But, again, you need to buy an extra accessory to do that. To get
maximum cohesion within Apple’s ecosystem, you need to fork out
an extra $20, apparently. 

What’s an extra $20 when you’ve already spent so much on Apple
devices, one might say. Well, that’s the thing. That extra $20
feels like a
hidden extra fee from a low-cost airline
, not the
all-included price tag of a first-class seat, where you get a
bunch of extras baked into the price. And if Apple’s devices
aren’t the smartphone equivalent of a first-class seat, I don’t
know what is.

Here’s to hoping that the next iPhone comes with either a USB-C
port, or a USB-C charging cable.

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