Apple testing iPhones that dump Lightning port for USB-C, Bloomberg News confirms

On Wednesday, uber-analyst Ming-Chi Kuo tweeted that Apple is considering moving from the venerable Lightning port to USB-C with the iPhone 15 lineup in 2023. Now, Bloomberg News‘ Mark Gurman is confirming the move citing “people with knowledge of the situation.”

Apple
Apple’s Lightning port

Mark Gurman for Bloomberg News:

In addition to testing models with a USB-C port in recent months, Apple is working on an adapter that would let future iPhones work with accessories designed for the current Lightning connector, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

If the company proceeds with the change, it wouldn’t occur until 2023 at the earliest. Apple is planning to retain the Lightning connector for this year’s new models…

USB-C [connectors] are slightly larger than the Lightning connector, but can offer quicker charging speeds and data transfers… But the majority of Apple accessories — including AirPods, the Apple TV remote, the MagSafe battery pack and the MagSafe Duo charger — still use Lightning. The USB-C adapter in development could mitigate that issue, but it’s unclear if Apple would include that in the box or make customers pay extra for it.

There’s also a wide range of third-party accessories, such as chargers, car adapters and external microphones, that use the existing [Lightning] connector. A switch would force third-party providers to redesign their products…

A key reason for making the change is the European Union’s decision to force phone and other device makers to adopt USB-C. In April, legislation for such a requirement was approved by a majority vote… It’s unclear if Apple might ultimately abandon the USB-C switch if the European law fails to materialize.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple will begin to offer a port-free iPhone version as soon as 2023.

As we wrote last month:

This proposal is clearly against one company, Apple.

And it obviously freezes innovation: “This is what you must use and, at the speed we operate, it’ll be a decade plus before you’re allowed to change it, if we ever even get around to it.” So, this wasteful quasi-governmental dictate is par for the course for the EU which comprises a whopping 5.8 percent of the world population.

This is just needless slow-as-molasses, late, bureaucratic, quasi-governmental meddling in the market.

If the EU had passed such a law when this was initially proposed, we’d all still be stuck with MicroUSB today.

Regardless, soon Apple’s iPhones won’t have any ports at all. As it stands even today, the Lightning port on our iPhones is largely superfluous. If anything, this misguided and late EU move only hastens Apple’s move to port-free iPhones (and even better water resistance).

Years ago, in January 2018, Apple provided feedback on this issue to the European Commission:

Apple stands for innovation. Regulations that would drive conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones freeze innovation rather than encourage it. Such proposals are bad for the environment and unnecessarily disruptive for customers.

More than 1 billion Apple devices have shipped using a Lightning connector in addition to an entire ecosystem of accessory and device manufacturers who use Lightning to serve our collective customers. We want to ensure that any new legislation will not result in the shipment of any unnecessary cables or external adaptors with every device, or render obsolete the devices and accessories used by many millions of Europeans and hundreds of millions of Apple customers worldwide. This would result in an unprecedented volume of electronic waste and greatly inconvenience users. To be forced to disrupt this huge market of customers will have consequences far beyond the stated aims of the Commission.

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10 Comments

  1. This proposal is clearly in favor for the customers.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to charge all your devices with the same cable? Your MacBook, your iPad AND your iPhone, AirPods?

    I guess your answer is “no, it’s kills innovation”…

    Cmon

    1. What’s to friggin’ test? USB-C works on iPads, right?

      Just make a smooth lightning to USB-connectors I have a stack of those already, nothing special about them

      Just bring the friggin’ usb-c iPhone already, it’s not hard.

  2. Apple’s proprietary cable, connection and dongle business has been one of their efficient cash cows, milking all of us. A $159 1.8m T-bolt 4 cable and list goes on. A $900 set of 4 skateboard wheels, They will hang on to the proprietary connection as long as they could. Good thing the sanity finally prevailed this time.

  3. I can’t remember when I last used any cable using with my old iPhone X . It does everything I need wirelessly so I am not sure I understand the fuss. All cables will be extinct soon enough.

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