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What is a Lightning Cable? Everything You Want to Know

What is a Lightning Cable? Everything You Want to Know

What is a lightning cable? By definition, it is a type of cable used to charge and sync Apple devices, such as iPhones, iPads, and iPods. It was named after the "Lightning connector," a proprietary connector developed by Apple to replace the older and bigger 30-pin dock connector attached to one cable end and a USB connector on the other. Continue reading to learn more about its differences from other cables, its types, and the factors to consider when buying one.

How is a Lightning Cable Different from a Micro-USB Cable?

A Lightning cable is different from a Micro-USB cable in several ways -

  • Firstly, Lightning cables are designed to be more durable and efficient than Micro-USB cables. They are also capable of delivering more power, with a maximum power rating of 12W compared to Micro-USB's 9W limit.

  • Furthermore, Lightning is Apple's proprietary charging option, while Micro-USB is a standardized model that works on a wide range of devices.

  • In terms of charging efficiency, Lightning supports faster charging at the same voltage compared to USB-C.

Therefore, if you want a cable that is durable, efficient, and delivers faster charging, a Lightning cable would be the best option for you.

Different Types of Lightning Cables

Lightning cables come in different types such as the standard, coiled, USB-C, and USB-A to lightning cables. These types differ in terms of connector type and cable design.  

Standard Lightning Cable

A "standard" lightning cable can refer to any lightning cable that meets certain technical specifications set by Apple's MFi (Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod) program. It guarantees that the cable meets Apple's technical standards and is compatible with Apple devices. Check out Anker lightning cables (e.g., USB-C and USB-A to lightning cables) as they all belong to the standard lightning cable type.

Coiled Lightning Cable 

A coiled lightning cable is a type of lightning cable that has a coiled or spiral modification. This cable comprises a series of tightly-wound coils that can stretch and retract to provide additional length and flexibility while preventing entangling and clutter. It's often used in cars or other vehicles, where a longer cable length is needed to connect the device to a charging port or audio system. Coiled Lightning cables are available from various manufacturers, including Apple and third-party brands such as Anker.

USB-C to Lightning Cable

A USB-C to Lightning cable is a type of cable that has a USB-C connector on one end and a Lightning connector on the other end. It's a newer connector type that is becoming more common on laptops, tablets, and smartphones. How to use usb-c to lightning cable? It allows Apple devices to be charged, transfer data, and connect to accessories.  

The Anker 762 USB-C to Lightning Cable (3ft / 6ft Nylon) is the best for this lightning cable type. It provides high-speed data transfer (480 Mbps) and fast-charging rates (18W) with a 35,000-bend lifespan and an ultra-slim design. This lightning cable is available in black, gray, and red colors.

USB-A to Lightning Cable

Unlike the USB-C to lightning cable, the USB-A has a USB-A connector on the other end. It's considered an older type found on most computers and USB chargers. However, the Anker 321 USB-A to Lightning Cable (3ft 3-in-1) does not fall short of the previous one. It can charge any device with the interchangeable, built-in Micro USB, USB-C, and Lightning connectors. It also has enhanced durability, protecting internal wiring from trauma and degradation. Also, it comes in colors: black and white.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Lightning Cable

Now that you can differentiate an apple lightning cable from other cables and learn its different types, it's time to know more about the factors to consider when buying your own. You must know four key factors: length, durability, charging speed, and compatibility.


Longer cables provide more flexibility and convenience, but shorter cables are more portable and easier to store. Choose a length that fits your needs.


Look for a cable made from high-quality materials with sturdy connectors. Cables with braided or reinforced jackets are more durable than those with simple plastic jackets.

Charging Speed

Check the cable's charging speed and data transfer rates. Some cables may provide faster charging and data transfer than others. Look for cables labeled as "fast charging" or "high-speed" if you need to charge your device quickly or transfer large files.


The Lightning connector is proprietary to Apple devices, so ensure that the lightning cable you are purchasing is compatible with your device.


This article has not only answered the question, "what is a lightning cable?" but has also listed its different types and pointed out the factors to consider when buying one. Now that you've gathered all this info, you're all ready to choose the perfect lightning cable for you. Don't forget to check out various Anker products as they all meet Apple's MFi certification.

FAQ about What is a Lightning Cable

Do All iPhones Use a Lightning Cable?

All iPhones released since September 2012 use a lightning cable. Before that, the 30-pin connector was used to connect Apple devices with power sources, computers and other accessories. In addition, the iPhone 12 series, released in 2020, introduced a new charging connector called MagSafe, which uses magnets to snap the charger to the back of the phone.

Can I Charge iPhone with USB-C?

Yes, you can charge your iPhone with USB-C! Simply use an Apple USB-C to Lightning cable and a compatible adapter like the Anker 762 USB-C to lightning cable. With this setup, you can fast charge your iPhone to get it up and running in no time.

Is a Lightning Cable the Same as an iPhone Charger?

No, a Lightning Cable is not the same as an iPhone charger. A Lightning Cable is used to connect your iPhone, iPad or iPod to a Mac or Windows PC to charge and sync your device. On the other hand, an iPhone charger is a power adapter used to charge your device without requiring a computer.

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