Micro USB vs Type C vs Lightning – Difference and Comparison

What is a Micro USB?

Micro-USB connectors launched on January 4, 2007. They are similar in width to min USB but have a half thickness, which enables them to integrate into thinner devices.

A micro USB is a tiny version of the interface developed to connect mobile devices, such as smartphones, MP3 players, Global Positioning System devices, printers, and digital cameras.

Micro USB connectors are as follows micro USB type A, Type B, Micro USB 2.0, Micro USB 3.0, etc. The micro USB 3.0 is similar to Micro type B, but they are with types of pin groups and with twice the wires, enabling it to have incredible speed.

The micro plugs are designed to connect and disconnect at 10,000 cycles, which is faster than the mini plug design.

What is a Type C?

A recent type of USB connector cable is a type-C USB. The 24-pin USB connector has a rotationally symmetrical connector.

It is convenient, faster, and more potent than older USBs; type c quickly charges popular devices, including the MacBook and mobiles, and helps in faster data transfer. It acts as a data connector and a power cable in a single cable.

Nowadays, USB-C connectors are seen on many gadgets, from simple external hard drives to expensive laptops and the latest smartphones. While all USB-C ports have the same appearance, not all have the same functions.

Although USB-C is now widely used, it has different uses everywhere. The USB-C connector is unique for being bidirectional, permitting connectors to be placed into sockets in either direction.

What is Lightning?

Lightning is a power connector created and designed by Apple Inc. it was launched on September 12, 2012, to replace its precursor 30-pin dock connectors.

It connects Apple mobile devices, iPhones, and iPods to host computers, cameras, USB battery chargers, external monitors, and other output devices.

Lightning is much smaller than its precursors and contains 8 instead of 30 pins which integrate devices like the iPhone and iPad 2. The shape of the lightning plug is symmetrical and bi-directional; it can be inserted in either orientation.

So, to retain a connection inside the receptacle, there are corresponding points to match each side to maintain a connection.

Difference Between Micro USB and Type C and Lightning

  1. A Micro USB connector can only transfer data slowly, at 480 Mbps or up to 5Gbps if the cable supports USB 3.0. On the other hand,  USB C is a faster connector capable of transferring data between 5 Gbps and 10 Gbps and is supported by USB 3.0 and USB 3.1. Apple Inc. designs lightning, and lightning cables can transfer data at a speed of 480Gbps, which is slower than type c and equal to USB 2.0.
  • The power delivery rate of every cable is different. The maximum current passed by lightning is 2.4 A, while the USB C can transfer up to 5 A current, but at the same time, the micro USB is capable of conducting a current of a maximum of 1 A.

Comparison Between Micro USB and Type C and Lightning

Parameters of ComparisonMicro USBType CLightning
Launching Year200720142012
Designed forCamera and smartphonesTablets and smartphonesAll kinds of Apple devices
Data Transfer Speed480 up to 5 Gbps.Up to 10 Gbps480 Gbps.
Maximum Power5 Amperes1 Ampere2.4 Amperes
Pin Connector52430
Reversible ChargerNoYesYes


  1. ^ “Micro-USB pinout and list of compatible smartphones and other devices.” pinoutsguide.com. Archived from the original on 10 October 2013.