Lightning Charger

Hey Apple Fans, Do You Know This Impressive Thing?

Apple’s Lightning charger is trending today. All are amazed by its design and performance. Moreover, many smartwatches and audio gadgets also support the use of the Lightning charger.

Therefore, it was obvious for me to prepare a post on Lightning Charger to display its beauty and at the same time its drawbacks.

Further, in the post, I have also compared the Lightning Charger with the USB Type-C.

And you will be surprised to see their comparison. I’ll just list the table of contents here –

  • What is Lightning Charger?
  • Functions Of The Lightning Charger.
  • USB Type-C Vs Lightning Charger.
  • How To Identify An Authentic Lightning Charger?
  • Products Supporting Lightning Charger.

What is Lightning Charger?

Lightning Charger is an Apple’s proprietary computer bus and power connector. Apple introduced the lightning charger on 12 September 2012. Moreover, it replaced the 30-pin dock connector very fast.

Unlike the dock connector which uses 30 pins, the Lightning connector uses 8 pins.

Therefore, the Lightning connector is more compact than its 30 pin predecessor. Furthermore, it can be inserted with any side facing up.

Also, users who use the dock charger can shift to the Lightning charger only if they use it with an adapter.

Use case –

This Lightning connector is used to connect any Apple mobile devices like iPhone’s, iPad’s etc to computers and other peripherals.

Functions Of The Lightning Charger

As we all know, that the Lightning connector was introduced with the release of the iPhone 5 as its charger and connector.

From there on, it is used as the default charger for the later iPhone devices.

Surprisingly, the iPad Pro which launched in 2018 uses the USB-C as its standard charger.





The best feature of this charger is that it renders fast charging. From computer to laptop any source does the work but the performance of the Lightning charger will vary.

Therefore, to achieve the optimal result it is better to use the proprietary adapter for it.

Data Transfer


Data Transfer


Most importantly, it’s function doesn’t stop with this it also transfers data. Yes, it does transfer digital data such as files, videos etc. to your laptop or desktop.

As you will see ahead the lightning charger has speed similar to the USB 2.0.

Therefore, it has a transfer rate of 480 Mbps. It is not very good as now we can enjoy the speed of USB 3.0 but still it is not bad. 





Here comes the ‘WOW’ factor, the Lightning cable can be used for listening to music. This feature was introduced with the iPhone 7.

Furthermore, the later models of iPhone have something called as the Lightning-to-headphone adapter which connects the smartphone to headphones using mini-plug connectors.  

Keeping the above properties aide, the Lightning connector adapters give –

  • Lightning to camera connection
  • HDMI-Lightning connection
  • VGA-Lightning connection

USB Type-C Vs Lightning Charger


FactorsLightning ChargerUSB Type-C
For Data TransmissionYesYes
For ChargingYesYes
Data Transmission RateUSB 2.0 [ 480 Mbps ]USB 3.0 [ 5-10 Gbps ]
Power Handling12 W100 W
Product SizeRelatively SmallerRelatively Large
Double End ReversibilityNo { Only One End }Yes
Extensive Port SupportNo SupportSupported
Complexity in DesignVery much ComplexLess Complex


Tips To Identify Fake Vs Genuine Lightning Cable




Apple has a support page to guide users/consumers on this topic. Go ahead and check the page it has explained everything very well.

Anyway, I am going to list the steps or ways to identify the authenticity of the charger.

Therefore, if you don’t want to visit the support page then you can go through these steps.

  • The packaging and writing on the cable should be considered.
  • Observe the packaging carefully as certified third-party accessories have MFi badge on the packaging.




Some products have an Old version of MFi badge.




  • Compare Connectors and laser etchings [Lightning End]
    • You can compare the connector end to find that the charger is authentic. The support page of Apple explains this very well.
    • The pins should be of a single piece and have rounded, smooth, gold or silver colored contacts.
    • Width and length of the Apple boot are consistent.
    • The faceplate should be Gray/Metallic.
  • USB -Connector End
    • Trapezoidal interlocks on the USB shell
    • Equally spaced interlocks.
    • The USB contacts should be gold-plated.
    • USB surface should be smooth, consistent and flat.

Products Supporting This Tech

  • Magic Keyboard, Trackpad 2, Mouse 2
  • Apple Pencil 
  • Siri Remote 
  • AirPods charging case
  • Beats X earphones
  • Beats Pill speaker
  • Earpods 


Overall, as a technology, I found the Lightning Charger very fascinating and interesting. But from a performance point of view, I still find the USB Type-C to be way ahead.

Moreover, it is now considered as a standard cable. So, for me unless and until the Lightning charger shows some drastic change in performance over the Type-C, I see it has good technology that can evolve into something great in the near future.

However, Apple will continue selling it as it is a good source for money-making.

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