Apple to replace future iPhone Lightning port with USB-C next year, this guy claims

Please season with pinches of salt as necessary


Apple may ditch its exclusive Lightning port in favor of the more widely used USB-C for future iPhone models.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted the shift on Wednesday, pointing out that the move would beef up the devices' wired connectivity, and shake up supply chains.

"My latest survey indicates that 2H23 new iPhone will abandon [the] 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," he said.

If it's true that USB-C support will be coming to the iGiant's phones expected to launch in the second half of next year, the change will probably start with the iPhone 15. That means Apple fans who want to stop faffing around with extra proprietary Lightning charge cables should hold off purchasing the iPhone 14, which is slated to launch later this year. 

Kuo predicts that the port change will mean USB-C manufacturers will be competing to win over Apple as a major customer. "It's expected to see existing USB-C-related suppliers of Apple's ecosystem (eg an 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," he added

Apple has already rolled out USB-C charging for its later models of Mac laptops and iPads, but has stubbornly stuck to its proprietary Lightning port for its iPhones. 

apple's proprietary lightning cable

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Two years ago, the European Commission proposed plans to force manufacturers to switch to the more common connector so all types of devices from different hardware companies can use the same charger. A vote for a common charging standard was put to MEPs in January 2020 passed by 582 votes to 40, with 37 abstentions.

If these proposals make it into law, Apple could – except for legal delaying action – be forced to support USB-C charging for iPhones sold to the EU. Last year, the UK government said it wasn't thinking of passing the same initiative.

"We are aware of the proposal of the EU to require a common charging solution for mobile phones for environmental reasons. ​The UK Government is not currently considering replicating this requirement," a spokesperson previously told The Register.

To avoid the kerfuffle of having to potentially build two types of iPhones for different parts of the world, Apple could just start supporting USB-C.

Kuo's predictions should be taken with a pinch of salt. It wasn't too long ago that he thought Apple would stick with its Lightning port for a while. Last year, based on observations from another survey, Kuo said he believed Apple would probably scrap all charging ports altogether for MagSafe charging instead of USB-C.

Apple did not respond to The Register's request for comment. ®

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