In recent weeks, reports have suggested that Apple may finally ditch the lightning port and move towards a future USB-C. And I’m crossing my fingers hoping that it actually happens.
First, Bloomberg and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo have suggested that the iPhone 15 – which will be released next year – will have a USB-C port. Now, a new note from Kuo suggests that some accessories would also adopt this USB charging standard:
Other Lightning port products (eg AirPods, Magic Keyboard/Trackpad/Mouse, MagSafe Battery) would also switch to USB-C in the near future.
Makes sense. If your primary device (iPhone) charges via a USB-C port, you do not want other accessories to charge via another port. That would mean having to carry additional cables. Ew.
Switching to USB-C could have several benefits for Apple. First, it could improve fast charging for all devices. Most iPhones currently charge at 18W-20W, while the Pro Max versions can charge at a slightly higher rate.
Fortunately, USB-C can unlock higher wattages and allow your iPhone to charge even faster. For reference, Xiaomi currently manufactures a sub-$400 phone that reportedly fully charges in 15 minutes.
Also, Apple already uses the USB-PD standard for charging. So all certified USB-C to C cables can help iPhones fast charging. This means you can use your existing cables or look for a standard on the market.
It’s great to envision a future where you can use your old Samsung or Pixel charger to power up your iPhone or your AirPods.
Does this mean that Apple could stop shipping cables with iPhones? We don’t know yet. But we hope that this will not happen, at least in the next few years.
One more advantage of switching to USB-C is faster data transfer. Apple currently uses the USB 2.0 standard, which has a theoretical speed limit of 480 Mbits per second (approximately 60 MB per second). Now it can potentially migrate to USB 3.1 or 3.2 and unlock multi-gigabits per second data transfer.
Apple already uses USB-C ports for charging and data transfer on MacBooks and iPads. Incorporating it into iPhones would be a logical step.
For years, the European Union has been trying to convince Apple to use USB-C in iPhones. With this potential change next year, it could appease regulators and get on their good books. It would be a win for everyone.