For 10 years, since the iPhone 5 model, Apple has managed to keep the Lightning port, even though most of the industry has long since adopted the USB-C standard. Ming-Chi Kuo, a technology analyst, shared information via his Twitter profile that supply chain research shows that the company will ditch Lighting in favor of the USB-C port as early as 2023, i.e. on the iPhone 15 phones.
The iPhone with a USB-C port instead of Lightning is already being officially tested by Apple, according to analyst Mark Gurman, however, it will not be part of this year's production line, but "as very early" will arrive until 2023.
The Bloomberg report confirms what was already reported by Ming-Chi Kuo, who mentioned that Apple would make the switch to USB-C during the second half of 2023, possibly taking advantage of the launch of the new iPhone model.
The change is not unexpected, as the company has already made modifications to its iPads, Pro, Air, and Mini to use USB-C, and would allow customers who already have an Apple tablet or computer to use a single charger, thus facilitating compatibility.
Gurman points out that one of the "great motivations" for the decision to make the modification is the decision made by the European Union to force all manufacturers of smartphones and other devices to adopt USB-C.
In addition to testing models with USB-C, the company is also working on an adapter that would allow the new iPhone to be compatible with accessories for the Lightning connector, although it is unknown if it would be included in the box of the new model, and by at least 2022, Apple plans to keep its proprietary port.
Apple has also been working on iPhones without a charging port as a way to promote the use of the MagSafe wireless charging system, although it has the problem of being a slow connection to recharge the battery and it does not sync data as fast.
Although the company has indicated that the European Law "would harm its ability to innovate", it is possible that they decide to launch a version of their smartphone only for Europe and continue to maintain Lightning in other areas of the planet, which would lead to confusion among users and additional problems in the supply chain.
The European Union has announced that it will require electronic device manufacturers to adopt the USB Type-C charging standard by the fall of 2024. This unprecedented decision will perhaps have the most impact on Apple, whose products – including the popular iPhone smartphones – use the company's special Lightning connector protocol.
The European Union's decision will force the Cupertino-based tech company to start using the ubiquitous USB-C ports and connectors on its iPhones and AirPods sold in the EU.
The new rules also require all devices to be clearly marked so customers can identify their charging and data capabilities and avoid a situation where they can't charge them because they don't have a compatible charger on hand.
In addition, users should be able to pick whether the new electronic device will come with or without a charger. The ability for people to buy products with or without a cable could save them money in the short term, but it could also give Apple the same choice that it has been implementing, and that is to omit chargers with their cables in the shipping.
This also does not mean that Apple will switch to the USB-C standard worldwide, although many analysts believe that this will be the case. The market where Apple will most certainly not immediately switch to the new standard (for the company) is the United States, but it will certainly happen at some point - and it will definitely be a good thing for users of its products.
The directive passed by the EU applies to small and medium-sized portable devices such as phones, tablets, headphones, digital cameras, portable consoles, and speakers that charge via cable. Laptops will also have to be modified for a period of 40 months after the directive comes into force.
The EU decision finally made the standard charger a reality in Europe. Users in the EU were frustrated by the fact that the number of chargers and cables they had to use increased with the purchase of each new product. And now they will be able to use only one charger for all their devices - which will definitely save them space and money.
The good thing about the new directive is the fact that customers will also be clearly informed about the charging performance of each device and thus be able to see if their existing chargers are compatible with it. For example, the capabilities of USB-C chargers vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer, and some cable manufacturers, especially those in China, claim to offer users a versatile product with USB-C, Micro USB-C, and Lightning capabilities, when in reality they do not support fast charging.
The new rules will also reduce electronic waste as consumers will use their chargers on different devices for significantly longer, which could lead to total savings of $268 million annually. Not only that, USB4, the latest USB standard, allows data transfer up to 40Gbps, while Apple's Lightning transfers data at speeds of up to 480Mbps.
At the end of the day, Apple's refusal to move to a global standard, and use its own, was more about peripheral control than a desire to be innovative. The company makes a lot of money from peripheral devices, but also from licenses it sells to third parties.
Be that as it may, from the point of view of users, this will certainly be a change in the right direction because soon they will not have to buy additional cables and chargers, but will be able to use any USB-C connector.