October 19, 2022

Why Apple Resists USB-C ?

Apple today announced an updated Apple TV and, along with it, a new Siri remote that has a USB-C port for charging rather than Lightning.

Apple said the new ‌Siri‌ remote now features USB-C in the same design introduced in April 2021:

The Siri Remote has the same beloved design and functionality as the previous generation and adopts USB-C for charging. It is included with the new Apple TV 4K, or can be purchased separately for $59 (US) starting today, and is compatible with all generations of Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.

I always assumed Apple was reserving USB-C for devices which could act as USB hosts, since USB-C does not have any affordance for the "directionality" of the cable, as older USB cables, and lightning cables, do.

I think it can be confusing for users to understand what a USB-C port does, if it does not have all capabilities it is possible to associate with a USB-C device. I suspect that, if Apple ever releases an iPhone with USB-C capabilities, like the iPad Pro, it will have a variety of host features, like connecting to cameras and maybe even a USB thumb drive. It will probably not show up as a disk drive when plugging it in to a MacBook.

But, now the Apple TV Remote, which can't do anything when you plug it in, has USB-C? Isn't that kind of confusing? It doesn't do anything but charge the device. Sure, users will figure it out. But it's inelegant. It doesn't... seem right.

Maybe Apple is just saying "Fuck it", and slapping USB-C on everything from now on.