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iPhone should switch to USB-C, says iPod inventor Tony Fadell

Updated Oct 10th, 2022 5:11PM EDT
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Port
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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The iPhone 14 still features a Lightning connector at the bottom instead of the USB-C port some users might want. But things could change as soon as next year, with the iPhone 15 embracing the USB-C port that’s been the standard charger for Android devices in the past few years.

Apple won’t be switching to USB-C on its own if it ever gets there. It’ll have to do it because regulatory bodies demand it. Like the European Union, which just decided to mandate USB-C charging on electronic devices like the iPhone. The USB-C vs. Lightning debate just saw another episode, with former Apple exec Tony Fadell saying that Apple should bring the USB-C port to the iPhone.

While the move to USB-C seems a no-brainer for the iPhone, as Apple did with the iPad, the Lightning connector still has fans. People who oppose the EU’s decision to regulate charging cables say that it’ll stifle competition. Lighting came before USB-C, a reversible data and power cable that was much better than microUSB on Android. And Apple played a role in developing USB-C.

People engaged the iPod exec on Twitter about the EU’s decision to favor USB-C connectivity. And Tony Fadell advocated in favor of the iPhone moving to USB-C, even if it comes from regulatory pressure rather than Apple’s own accord.

Fadell, who hasn’t worked at Apple in almost years, went further, saying that Apple “hasn’t been doing the right thing.” He also said that Apple is in a “monopolist-like position.”

Furthermore, Fadell also argued that Apple’s iPads already support USB-C, which offers faster charging.

USB-C could also bring faster data speeds to the iPhone, a feature users keep complaining about.

Fadell also said that Apple is abusing its power, and this is “coming from the guy who made the 30-pin connector happen.” That’s the connector that preceded the Lightning connector, another port switch that iPhone users resisted initially.

The former iPod exec also said he was leading the team who invented the MFi program, which allows accessory makers to develop Lighting cables for the iPhone. It’s also a program that makes some money for Apple. And Fadell insisted that it’s time for Apple to do the right thing.

Finally, Tony Fadell compared the regulation forcing Apple to bring USB-C connectivity to the iPhone with AC socket standardization.

That said, we’re only looking at opinions from a former Apple employee. The iPhone maker is yet to comment on the EU’s proposed law. And we don’t expect Apple to confirm the switch to USB-C anytime soon. That’s the kind of announcement that should drop during an official iPhone announcement.

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.

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