The European Union agreed to impose a standard connector for all battery-powered electronic devices that support wired charging. That’s USB-C, a port already found on most smartphones and tablets. The ruling will force Apple to add USB-C to the iPhone, one of the rare popular products with a proprietary charging cable. Apple has time until 2024 to implement the change, but we already have rumors that the iPhone 15 will feature the connector. But Apple might do things a little differently, with the iPhone 15 Pro models being the first ones to switch to USB-C.
A new iPhone strategy
Apple has been following specific patterns when it comes to making new iPhones. Not each new generation delivers a significant redesign. And when a design makeover does drop, the models that follow a year later will provide minor tweaks. Also, all same-year iPhones run on the same powerful next-generation mobile chip.
The iPhone 14 will bring a few massive changes to Apple’s iPhone strategy. These are important to understand before looking at the new iPhone 15 Pro USB-C rumor.
Leakers and analysts agree that the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max will look like last year’s iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro when it comes to the overall design.
The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will receive a new notch design. They’ll employ a pill-and-hole cutout at the top of the screen for the Face ID and selfie camera. They should also have thinner bezels than their predecessors.
Finally, on the specs side, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will get the brand new A16 Bionic chip. The cheaper models will stay on a variation of the A15, probably the chip that powered the iPhone 13 Pros.
All iPhone 14 models will have the same Lightning connector on the bottom. Apple might have tested USB-C models this year, but buyers will have to wait one more year to get that port.
iPhone 15 Pro models to get the USB-C port
A leaker who goes by the name LeaksApplePro said on Twitter that the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will get the USB-C port next year.
The cheaper iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Max will stay on Lightning for one more year. The new EU regulations will not kick in until 2024, so Apple can still make iPhones featuring its proprietary charging port until then.
Furthermore, the leaker says that the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Max will move to USB-C in 2024. The iPhone 16 Pro versions will either stay on USB-C or go portless.
The leaker said the schedule comes from his sources at Apple. But Apple’s plans might always change, assuming the information is accurate.
A different leaker also said that the iPhone 15 will feature USB-C connectivity instead of Lightning. However, Ming-Chi Kuo did not distinguish between the iPhone 15 Pro models and the cheaper variants.
Why it makes sense
We will note, however, that Apple might want to continue to differentiate the non-Pro and Pro iPhones for years to come after the iPhone 14. Restricting USB-C to the iPhone 15 Pro might make sense.
Camera reports say the iPhone 15 series might introduce a periscope zoom camera. But only the Pro models feature telephoto zoom lenses, so the feature would be restricted to the iPhone 15 Pros.
A display analyst known for his accurate predictions said recently that the iPhone 16 Pro models will be the first to introduce an under-panel Face ID system. As a result, the handsets would feature a hole-punch display, with only the selfie camera piercing the screen.
Finally, Apple’s expensive iPad Pros were the first to get USB-C connectivity. It was only later that Apple added it to the Air.
More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.