Now that the iPad Pro comes with USB-C, Apple's ecosystem is being fragmented by the iPhone.
- Apple's iPhones come with USB-A-to-Lightning charging cables, which you can't plug into Apple's latest laptop.
- Apple's new MacBook Air comes with USB-C without an adapter or separately sold cable.
- Google's Pixel 3 phones come with a charging cable that has USB-C on both ends, so it's easier to plug into Apple's new USB-C-only laptops.
- It shows a lack of cohesion between Apple's most popular device, the iPhone, and its other important devices like the new iPad Pro with USB-C and its USB-C laptops.
Apple's new MacBook Air doesn't come with regular USB ports, which means you can't plug in an iPhone directly into it. This is now the case with all of Apple's new laptops.
In fact, it's easier to plug in Google's latest Pixel 3 smartphone directly into Apple's latest laptops than it is an iPhone. Google's Pixel 3 smartphones comes with a charging cable that has USB-C on both ends, which means you can plug the cable into the Pixel 3 and Apple's new laptops.
Indeed, Apple refreshed its MacBook Air lineup and removed the regular USB ports entirely, replacing them with two simple USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports. That means Apple's entire lineup of its latest laptops, including the MacBooks, new MacBook Air, and MacBook Pros, don't come with regular USB ports.
The problem here isn't so much that Apple ditched the regular USB ports on its new laptops — although, that can be a problem for some — but more that Apple doesn't include a USB-C cable with its iPhones. There's seemingly little cohesion between two of Apple's popular devices when cohesion within its ecosystem is one of the main draws of adopting the Apple ecosystem.
If for nothing else, having an iPhone that can easily plug into a new Apple laptop is nice for charging your iPhone. It used to be an option while you're out and about and on the move, where there might not be a wall outlet to plug your iPhone into. It's still an option, to be clear, but you need to spend more money to have that option.
You can buy a USB-C to Lightning cable for $20, or a USB-C adapter with a regular USB port, which also costs $20. It's just odd that you need to buy an optional extra accessory to plug in an iPhone into Apple's own devices.
Or, why doesn't Apple just switch the iPhone's charging port to USB-C, like it did with its new iPad Pro? During its October 2018 event, Apple said itself that the iPad Pro can charge an iPhone. But, again, you need to buy an extra accessory to do that. To get maximum cohesion within Apple's ecosystem, you need to fork out an extra $20, apparently.
What's an extra $20 when you've already spent so much on Apple devices, one might say. Well, that's the thing. That extra $20 feels like a hidden extra fee from a low-cost airline, not the all-included price tag of a first-class seat, where you get a bunch of extras baked into the price. And if Apple's devices aren't the smartphone equivalent of a first-class seat, I don't know what is.
Here's to hoping that the next iPhone comes with either a USB-C port, or a USB-C charging cable.