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How Fast Is A USB-C To Lightning Cable?

With all sorts of cables out there these days, it can be pretty tough to figure out which one is best to use for your device. So, where does the USB-C to Lightning cable fit in? How fast is it, and how does it compare to USB-A?

A USB-C to Lightning cable reaches extremely fast data transfer and charging speeds. It’s much faster than USB-A and can bring your phone’s battery from 0% to 50% within 30 minutes or less. While the cable itself comes with a new iPhone, you’ll have to buy a compatible charger to use it with. 

It’s important to note that the actual charging speed depends on the device and the charger itself. Let’s look at what exactly a USB-C to lightning cable is, how it compares to the USB-A cable, and how to pick out the best USB-C cable for your device.

What Is a USB-C to Lightning Cable?

White charger adapter and white USB cable

One end of a USB-C to Lightning cable boasts a Lightning connector, while the other end has a USB-C connector instead of the standard USB-A one. With this cable, you can both sync and charge all your iOS devices. 

Is a USB-C to Lightning Faster Than a USB-A to Lighting? 

A USB-C to Lightning cable is much faster than a USB-A cable, significantly improving your device’s charging speed. In fact, USB-C to Lightning can sometimes even charge your phone’s battery from 0 to 50% within 30 minutes or less. 

However, keep in mind that you’ll have to purchase a compatible charger (on Amazon) with this cable, as new iPhones no longer come with one included.

Generally, the more current your phone receives through the charging cable, the greater amount of power it can utilize and the quicker it can charge. To put this into perspective, USB-A connectors only deliver up to 12 watts. On the other hand, standard USB-C ports deliver 18 watts of power.

So, if you charge an iPhone XR battery with a USB-A charger, it’ll only charge from 0 to 17% in 30 minutes. A USB-C cable will rocket your phone’s battery to almost 50% in that same timeframe.

What’s the Difference Between USB-C and Lightning?

Although Lightning and USB-C are similar, they’re not exactly the same. The biggest difference between the two is that the Lightning connector is proprietary and only works with iPhones and all other Apple devices.

Apart from the Apple exclusivity, a USB-C cable is faster, more durable, and generally superior to the Lightning cable in almost every way. This is mainly because USB-C is a newer connector that came out several years after Lightning.

There are several other factors that set Lightning and USB-C apart, including: 

Data Transfer Rates

USB-C can support USB4, which is the fastest and latest USB specification. With this support, USB-C cables are able to reach data transfer speeds of up to 40Gbps.

On the other hand, Lightning cables are comparatively older and slower. They support USB 2.0 and have data transfer speeds of only 480Mbps. 


While it hasn’t officially become the universal standard yet, most devices, including Windows PCs and Android smartphones, are compatible with USB-C. In fact, even Apple’s latest Mac computers are designed with hybrid Thunderbolt/USB-C ports. 

Next-gen consoles, including the Xbox Series X, PS5, and Nintendo Switch, boast USB-C support as well. However, since the Lightning cable is only exclusive to iPhones and Apple products, its compatibility is very limited.

Power Delivery

Compared to Lightning, a USB-C cable boasts a much higher power delivery rate and even provides a faster charge using the same voltage. While Lightning carries a maximum current of only 2.4A, USB-C delivers 3A and can handle up to 5A as well. 

This difference means that USB-C is compatible with the USB PD fast-charging standard, making it a much better option for fast charging than Lightning. 

Which Devices Work Best With USB-C?

USB-C type to Lightning fast charging cable with iPhone 11 Pro Max

The bigger the device, the better and faster a USB-C cable will seem to you. A high-end USB-A charger will only be able to charge a large tablet, such as the iPad Pro (on Amazon), from 0% to a paltry 10% within 30 minutes.

On the other hand, a good USB-C cable and charger can charge an iPad Pro at up to 45 watts, boosting its battery to 33% in just 30 minutes. USB-C cables do wonders with smaller devices as well, especially when their battery is low. 

In fact, the cable can charge the newest Android phones and iPhones at a whopping 18 watts of power. This means that if you have an iPhone XR (on Amazon), you can charge it from 0 to almost 50% in only 30 minutes by connecting it to a USB-C to Lightning cable and a USB-C charger. 

Several different laptops also work best with USB-C chargers and ports. While they don’t have the added benefit of faster charging the way that mobile devices do, they do have the advantage of USB-C’s universal nature. 

So, even if you switch computer or laptop brands, you won’t have to change the charger. In fact, the newest USB-C charger can carry 60 watts or more, making them perfect for charging a Dell XPS laptop, a Chromebook, and even a MacBook.

This universal nature also makes USB-C ports perfect for anyone who works on a laptop outside a traditional office or who travels a lot with one. This is because you’ll only need one power bank or charger to charge every single USB-C device, from smartphones to headphones to laptops. 

How to Choose the Best USB-C to Lightning Cable

There are countless high-quality, third-party USB-C to Lightning cables available today — most of which are longer, more durable, and more flexible than the one that ships with your iPhone.

Before you choose a USB-C to Lightning cable, it’s best to check its tactility, build quality, and overall ability to stay tangle-free. Make sure you also consider its pricing and its warranty period.

However, if you don’t want to go through each and every cable available on the market, then here are two of the best ones: 

Anker 641

The Anker 641 (on Amazon) is undoubtedly one of the best third-party cables available today. It’s longer and much more versatile than the USB-C to Lightning cable that comes with your iPhone. 

Thanks to the graphene coating on its interior and its silica gel exterior, the cable is also extremely durable. According to Anker, it can withstand 220 pounds of weight and last 25,000 bends. The soft-feel finish adds to its excellent tactility as well.     

It’s available in eight different colors and even comes in a shorter 3-foot version, making it ideal for use with a car charger, on a desk, or with a power bank. 

NOMAD Kevlar

Manufactured with real DuPont Kevlar, this NOMAD USB-C to Lightning cable (on Amazon) is a bit more expensive than other models, but it’s also way tougher, making it worth every single penny. 

The accessory is designed with impressive metal connector housings, which offer a unique blend of superb tactility and good design. It also includes an incredibly useful silicone tie for easy storage and effortless length management.

Lastly, the company also makes a longer, three-meter variant for those who want more versatility.