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Apple’s USB-C cables are expensive, but there are other options out there (for some users)
Apple’s new iPhone 15 line has arrived, and with it, a highly anticipated switch: The new phones have joined the vast majority of the tech world in using USB-C cables to charge. Not only are they much faster than Apple’s former, proprietary Lightning cables, but this moves us all closer to a world where there’s one global standard for charging cables for all devices, meaning no more searching high and low for a specific cord that goes with a specific device.
The only downside is figuring out what to do with all our old Lightning cables and accessories.
Apple is offering a Lightning to USB-C adapter that will allow you to keep using Lightning inputs with the new phones. But it’s predictably expensive. At $29, you could get a whole handful of USB-C cables for the same price.
Even though you can recycle your old Lightning cables (through Apple, Best Buy and other local and national programs), it’s estimated that only 10%-15% of eligible electronic waste is actually recycled each year. We’re afraid this switch means a lot of Lightning cables are going to end up in landfills, and that’s a bummer.
And for those who have accessories with Lightning docking ports, like speakers? Well, if you get a new iPhone with a USB-C port and want to keep using those older accessories, you’ll have no choice but to get an adapter. For now, that means shelling out for the Apple version — though it’s likely that more affordable, off-brand versions will hit the market very soon.
More charging cords that will now work with iPhones (if you get an iPhone 15)
Each new iPhone comes with a USB-C charging cable in the box. But it’s always good to have options, so here are more cables that will now work with iPhones, starting with the iPhone 15.
These Samsung cables offered the best bang for your buck when we tested them. They’re dependable and efficient, but the real winner is the price tag — if they break or you misplace them, they’re easy to replace at just under $9 each. They charge quickly and come in black and white. The only downside is they only come in one length.
This is another affordable option, plus the Anker cable’s design is rugged and reliable, making it a hit with customers. It is a longer cable at 6 feet and offers especially fast charging and data transfer speeds.
If you need a USB-A to USB-C cable, this is one of your best options. It can be used for charging or syncing devices to share photos or music. It has a fast data transfer rate, but the length might be a bit short for some setups.
Looking for the best value? This three-pack delivers. It’s also compatible with older wall charging blocks and laptops for both charging and syncing devices.
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Christina Marfice writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.