Apple could end Lightning ports and finally embrace industry-standard USB-C ports.
Recently, industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted on Twitter that the iPhone 15 will have a USB-C port instead of the decade-old Lightning port, making the iPhone 14 the last of its kind. The prediction could have been right on the money as recent Bloomberg report reveals that Apple is testing USB-C ports on iPhones.
The information comes from anonymous sources who claim to have insider knowledge of Apple’s future iPhone plans. Take this information with a grain of salt because Apple does not confirm – naturally – and these reports could be wrong.
All that aside, the report goes on to say that you won’t see USB-C until 2023. The iPhone 14 (the alias) models coming out in 2022 are expected to retain Lightning ports. Apple is also reportedly working on a special adapter that will allow future USB-C iPhones to work with accessories that house Lightning ports.
A switch to USB-C would change a lot of things. For starters, it would reduce Apple’s grip on the industry and the companies that make Apple accessories. They would no longer be obliged to respect strict approval guidelines.
And if there are fewer companies making Lightning connectors, that would interfere with the usability of devices like AirPods. It’s entirely possible that Apple is making another USB-C adapter for Apple accessories, but this report offers no indication of that possibility.
New European legislation
The report’s sources didn’t explain why Apple is potentially doing this, but chances are it has something to do with recent EU legislation.
Last April, the EU’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee approved a mandate that will require all smartphones to use USB-C connectors and ports as a universal standard. The EU says this law will reduce e-waste in the fight against climate change. However, it will not come into force until 2026.
As you can imagine, Apple was not happy. The company told TechRadar in 2021 that this law “…stifles innovation” and could harm consumers around the world. Apple has tried to work with the EU, but so far the two entities are yet to agree.
Ming-Chi Kuo on Twitter states that if Apple uses USB-C, it will improve iPhone transfer and charging speeds. But fast speeds depend on future hardware. You also won’t have to buy any additional accessories if you decide to upgrade from an Android.
There is still a small chance that the EU law will be dropped and a possibility that Apple will stick to its guns. Hopefully Apple moves on with the USB-C iPhone anyway so we don’t have to buy any extra cables.