It’s been rumored for a while that Apple will eventually drop its beloved Lightning port on the iPhone and move to USB-C. Multiple Apple devices have already made the switch to USB-C but the iPhone has fallen behind. As time goes on, it’s seemingly more and more likely that we will end up with a USB-C iPhone. However, is that something consumers want?
USB-C iPhones mandatory in the EU
The subject has been frequently brought up after the European Union made the decision for USBC-iPhones to be mandatory starting in 2024. The United States could possibly follow suit, aiming to agree on a “common charging port” for consumers. Regulations come as politicians demand tech companies standardize a charging cable to create less environmental waste and less expenses for the consumer. However, Apple has fought back, saying a common charging cable would stifle innovation and only increase environmental waste.
Lightning, the “modern connector for the next decade”
Ten years ago, Apple exec Phil Schiller announced the lightning cable and dubbed it as the “modern connector for the next decade”. Released with the iPhone 5, the lightning port has stuck with every iPhone ever since. However, speculations suggest Lightning will be retired soon as USB-C will become the next charging port on iPhones.
When do we expect to see a USB-C iPhone?
It’s projected the first-ever USB-C iPhone will be the iPhone 15, expected to launch in fall 2023 as Analyst Ming Chi Kuo predicts.
My latest survey indicates that 2H23 new iPhone will abandon Lightning port and switch to USB-C port. USB-C could improve iPhone’s transfer and charging speed in hardware designs, but the final spec details still depend on iOS support.
While Apple will make the move soon, Kuo suggests USB-C may not stay for long on iPhones.
It’s expected to see existing USB-C-related suppliers of Apple’s ecosystem (eg, IC controller, connector) become the market’s focus in the next 1-2 years, thanks to vast orders from iPhones and accessories’ adoption of USB-C ports.
His suggestion presents a question of what comes next: could Apple go portless after the USB-C?
Could the iPhone go portless?
It’s apparent that a completely wireless iPhone could arrive in a few years. Many users of the iPhone 12 and 13 lineup already charge wirelessly with the addition of MagSafe chargers for iPhone. However, this isn’t the preferred outcome for all users. For those who use their iPhone for photo and video shoots, a wired connection is still the preferred method. My colleague Ben offers a great insight into what a wireless iPhone could look like in a few years.
Which would you prefer?
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