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iPhone 15 with USB-C is only the beginning of Apple’s big switch

Updated Nov 3rd, 2022 1:15PM EDT
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Front
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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The iPhone’s switch to USB-C seems imminent, considering the legal proceedings in the European Union. The region decided that USB-C should be the standard charger for various electronic devices by 2024, including smartphones like the iPhone. We never expected the iPhone 14 to make the switch, but the iPhone 15 seems certain to feature USB-C connectivity instead of Lightning.

Mark Gurman, an Apple insider with an accurate track record predicting Apple’s moves, says that Apple’s switch to USB-C will be much bigger than the iPhone. The company has reportedly decided to replace Lightning already, but it’s protesting the EU’s law for appearances.

Apple moved to USB-C years ago with the MacBook models that ditched all ports in favor of the new connector. The iPad Pro followed. Then Apple brought USB-C to iPad Air and iPad mini. The remaining iPad with a Lightning port is the entry-level variant. But the iPad 10, due this year, is getting its USB-C port. That’s according to the same Mark Gurman.

The iPhone represents Apple’s last bastion for the Lightning port. But Apple will move all of its new iPhones to USB-C, according to Bloomberg’s reporter. Gurman explained in his Power On newsletter that Apple has been pushing against the EU’s new law publicly even though it’s already preparing for the big switch to USB-C.

Apple can’t publicly agree with the EU to not give the impression that regulatory pressure can change how its products work. But Gurman says Apple has been preparing for the switch to USB-C on iPhone. And it’s all starting with the iPhone 15 models about a year from now. The “iPhone 15 is essentially a lock to get USB-C,” The insider claims. This would beat the EU’s mandate by a year.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Port
iPhone 14 Pro’s Lightning port. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Even the next-gen iPhone SE model will have a USB-C port if it launches after the end of 2024, the EU’s deadline for device makers. Any model that precedes the deadline can still launch with Lightning onboard.

But Apple will also add the port to a treasure trove of accessories that use Lightning for charging. The list includes products like the AirPods, Magic Mouse, Magic Keyboard, and Magic Trackpad.

Gurman speculates that Apple’s switch to USB-C will be fast. Rather than dragging its feet, Apple should beat the late 2024 deadline for all these devices.

That makes sense for some products once the iPhone 15 with USB-C connectivity is out in stores. Charging devices will be even easier for consumers. One USB-C cable and charger will be enough for all Apple devices. That’s why the AirPods should get USB-C support faster than any other non-iPhone product.

Gurman also speculates that the life of the USB-C port on the iPhone will be short after the iPhone 15’s arrival. Apple is still working on inductive charging for iPhone and iPad. In the coming years, Apple should ditch USB-C in favor of MagSafe charging. That might have always been the plan for the iPhone maker. The EU’s legislation just created a temporary complication.

More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.