USB-C vs Lightning Port: What’s the Difference?

USB-C vs Lightning
Before you continue, please know that this page has affiliate links and we'll get paid if you buy anything after clicking a link. Our recommendations are based on research from reddit, Quora, Amazon, and sometimes real-world usage if the item isn't crazy expensive.

It is never easy to innovate, especially when it means that you need to deviate from the standards and norms that people have long been used to.

For more than 10 years, Apple has been using its proprietary 30-pin dock connector that worked pretty well for the products of the company as it offered room for growth.

The only issue was that it was a rather large connector. And for the company known for its slim devices, they decided to make the change with the launch of Lightning.

What is the Lightning port?

Even though Apple has a role in the development of USB-C, this isn’t the same as Lightning. Lightning ports are most notably smaller that gives an edge to the Apple company as it allows them to create slimmer devices.

Lightning has better durability compared to USB-C. The connecting tabs on Lightning can be found on the cable itself, unlike USB-C whose connecting tabs are found on the port. With tabs being potential points of failure, it is easy to see that Lightning ports are much more durable. In case you broke the tabs of a Lightning cable, you can simply solve it by getting a cable replacement.

If the same thing happens to a USB-C port, you need to replace the port of the device and this shows the big difference between the two in terms of durability.

USB-C and Lightning can both conduct power at different wattages. These specifics weren’t disclosed to the public by Apple but these are available to the third party manufacturers. There is a possibility that the USB’s limits in power were among the main reasons why Apple came up with Lightning.

You can safely assume that Lightning has the ability to handle as much as 12W of power that the iPad charger provides. It is also possible that Lightning can handle even more wattage but because this is made for mobile devices, it might not be necessary at all.

Why USB-C instead of Lightning?

On the other hand, USB-C can handle as much as 100 watts. It makes sense for the desktop computers plugged into the power source. USB-C can power loud amplifiers or even screens. Lightning can also do this but there is no way that your iPhone will power an amplifier with 100 watts. Since Lightning isn’t available on desktop computers, there is no need for high wattage power transmission although it is possible in theory.

The speed of data transmission depends more on the USB standards for USB-C and Lightning alike. Lightning devices often connect to computers for the transfer of data. A Lightning to USB cable facilitates it. The data throughput often depends on the ports found on the target and source device.

The very first Lightning devices were able to transfer data at the speeds of USB 2.0. Newer devices also adopted newer USB standards. The Apple Company didn’t reveal Lightning’s maximum theoretical data throughout. This is quick enough to make the most of the latest standards in the real world.

USB-C vs Lightning are different in many ways. Sadly, it seems that Lightning lost this battle and is slowly being phased out by Apple.