Charging the iPhone 15: Android Cable Compatible?

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Recently, a friend messaged me to ask if charging an Apple iPhone 15 with any random Android cable could potentially damage the phone.

Some claim that the USB-C port on the iPhone 15 has different contacts, making it risky to use just any cable due to possible damage to the phone; others argue that as long as the cable supports PD fast charging, any USB-C should work fine; and then some suggest buying a couple of extra original Apple charging cables to avoid any fuss…

So today, I’ll dive into everything you need to know about charging your iPhone 15.

Can You Just Use Any Android Cable to Charge Your iPhone 15?

It’s understandable to have such concerns, especially with rumors flying around online.

Before the iPhone 15 series was launched, there were leaks from third-party Apple retailers and accessory makers suggesting various things, like Apple encrypting the USB-C port requiring MFi certification to use, or the iPhone’s USB-C pins being spaced differently from typical Android cables, which could cause damage or even “fry” the device…

These rumors spread and caused doubts among people who initially didn’t believe them.

Considering Apple’s history, it wouldn’t have been shocking if they had added an MFi certification to compel users to buy “exclusive USB-C cables.” Given the precedent of domestic phone manufacturers with their “custom” protocols, Apple could have easily modified their USB-C standards as well. However, Apple officially debunked these rumors, confirming that both Android and Apple USB-C cables are standardized and wouldn’t harm the iPhone 15. The confusion likely arose from retailers attempting to market their own accessories.

Also, with the EU mandating Apple to adopt the USB-C standard, it’s unlikely Apple would complicate matters by implementing MFi certification just for the sake of it.

Are There Differences Between Original iPhone 15 and Android Cables?

A widespread belief is that one shouldn’t just use any Android cable to charge the iPhone 15, mainly due to different pin configurations.

Indeed, Apple introduced the USB-C charging cable with a 24-pin design back in 2015, but the iPhone 15’s official cable comes with 16 pins, likely because Apple considered the iPhone 15’s charging power requirements and USB2.0 capabilities, opting for a more “environmentally friendly” solution.

For the iPhone 15 Pro series that supports higher power fast charging and USB 3.2, Apple prepared Thunderbolt cables for those in need of significant power or high-speed data transfer.

Thanks to the advancements in fast charging by domestic manufacturers, most Android cables nowadays have high specifications, some even coming with E-Mark chips.

Also, many devices, just like the iPhone 15, still use USB2.0, which lacks the pins for high-speed data transfer but does not affect charging capabilities. Thus, there’s virtually no difference between iPhone 15’s original cables and many Android cables, with the latter sometimes even offering better quality.

What Cables Can Charge the iPhone 15 Quickly?

While I mentioned that many Android cables could be superior, not all are suitable for charging the iPhone 15, especially those that do not support PD fast charging.

Due to the peculiarities of PD fast charging, typically, only C-to-C cables can activate this feature. Huawei’s charging cables, for instance, are A-to-C and don’t support PD protocol, hence they cannot fast charge the iPhone 15.

However, there are exceptions like Xiaomi’s proprietary fast-charging protocol, which is a modification of the PD standard. As a result, even A-to-C cables paired with a Xiaomi fast charger can charge the iPhone 15.

To fast charge your iPhone 15, opt for C-to-C cables that support fast charging. Affordable options are abundant now, with brands like Baseus offering quality and reliable customer support. Alternatively, popular “influencer recommended” cables are an option, though their quality control can be inconsistent. If budget allows, going for an all-in-one cable offers convenience at a higher cost.

However, beware of USB-C cables that come with products like electric shavers or digital scales. While they might fit, such cables are meant only for low-power applications and might not effectively charge your phone or could even heat up if paired with a fast-charging adapter, potentially harming your phone’s battery health.

The iPhone isn’t as fragile as some may think; not just any Android cable can damage it. Devices like Huawei’s, which don’t support the correct standard, simply won’t work, while others can charge normally. For fast charging, just look for high-power compatible cables.

Lastly, I’m curious, when charging your iPhone 15, which Android cables do you prefer?

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