May 13 update below. This post was first published on May 11, 2022.
It looks like a big change is coming for the iPhone next year. One that I said would never happen if you’d asked me about last year. Literally never.
But the claim comes from one of Apple’s most respected observers, Ming-Chi Kuo of TFI Securities. So it must be true, right? Maybe.
Updated May 13. Here’s the thing: A few days ago, reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo came up with the most outlandish suggestion about a future iPhone: that it switch from Apple’s beloved Lightning connector to the widely available USB-C. Ridiculous, you might think. When hell freezes over, you could have said.
But now, another highly regarded surveyor of the Apple scene, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurmanhas weighed.
He has added his own take on the situation, but broadly agrees with Ming-Chi Kuo. Gurman says Apple is testing a USB-C version of the iPhone for release in 2023, yes, the iPhone 15, not the iPhone 14 expected this fall. phones must be equipped with USB-C. He also adds that if the law isn’t passed, although I think it is, Apple may not switch to USB-C after all. Gurman rightly points out that the situation is complex. Switching to USB-C would mean that almost anyone could use just one cable and charger for their iPhone, iPad Pro, and MacBook Pro, as well as Android phones, tablets, Windows and Chrome PCs, and more. Win win, right? Ultimately, but in the short term, remember that many people use Lightning to charge their Mac mice, MagSafe Duo Charger and more. So for a while these people will have just as much confusion, if not more, than they are now. The technology is such that a bit of me believes that by the time everyone moves to USB-C, an entirely new, backward-incompatible connector will have been developed. I mean, didn’t Apple just reintroduce MagSafe for the MacBook Pro?
Of course, the fact that two rumors have come in doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Of course not. But the fact that they are both such reliable analysts must mean something.
Kuo claims, in a few tweets earlier today, that “My latest research indicates that the 2H23 new iPhone will leave the Lightning port and switch to the USB-C port.”
In other words, the iPhone arriving in the second half of 2023, the one everyone is calling iPhone 15, will change one of the few things about the iPhone that hasn’t changed since the iPhone 5 was released in 2012: the Lightning connector.
Kuo claims it will be replaced by USB-C, the connector used on nearly all Android phones, the iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad mini, and Mac laptops.
To those who don’t follow these things closely, it may not seem like much, but here’s why it is.
Apple has strictly stuck to Lightning connectors for its iPhones and made it clear that it didn’t think the switch to USB-C was a good idea. When the European Union said it would insist that electronic devices all use the same connector, namely USB-C, to reduce electronic waste, Apple made a strong backlash, explaining that it would reduce innovation.
It’s true that the Lightning connector is slimmer than USB-C, so it gives Apple more design flexibility. Plus, since so many households have Lightning cables and chargers, throwing out all those cables to switch to USB-C would be more wasteful, it’s argued.
The expectation was that Apple would stick with Lightning as long as possible and instead switch to a portless iPhone that would charge wirelessly, for example.
Ming-Chi Kuo has concluded that USB-C is on its way to the iPhone through his latest supply chain survey. orders.
Kuo points out that there are benefits to moving to USB-C, such as better data transfers and charging speeds. He also notes that the final details are still dependent on support in iOS.
Could it be that the increased pressure from the EU has caused Apple to change its mind? After all, if faced with either not selling Lightning products in Europe or making a version with USB-C for the EU, it makes more sense to move to USB-C globally.
If you’re skeptical about this report, I can’t blame you. All I’m saying is that this topic is something I’ve talked to Apple about repeatedly. I certainly haven’t heard anyone say they think USB-C would be good for the iPhone, but at the same time, I’ve noticed opposition to such an idea has been somewhat muted lately. Though not enough for me to say that this change is going to happen.
The other practical benefit for consumers is that suddenly there is only one type of connector for gadgets and picking up the wrong charging plug or cable will soon be a thing of the past.
It’s an intriguing prospect, even if it seemed strange until now. More like we have it.