In recent weeks, reports have suggested that Apple might finally ditch the Lightning port and move towards a USB-C future. And I’m crossing my fingers that this actually happens.
First, Bloomberg and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested that the iPhone 15, due for release 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) will also switch to USB-C in the foreseeable future.
It makes sense. If your primary device (iPhone) charges through a USB-C port, you don’t want other accessories to charge through another port. That would mean having to carry extra cables. Yuck.
Moving to USB-C could have multiple benefits for Apple. First, it could improve fast charging for all devices. Most iPhones currently charge at 18W-20W, while the Pro Max versions could charge at a slightly higher rate.
Hopefully USB-C can unlock higher wattages and allow your iPhone to charge even faster. For reference, Xiaomi currently makes a sub-$400 phone that is said to fully charge in 15 minutes.
Also, Apple already uses the USB-PD standard for charging. Therefore, all certified USB-C to C cables could help fast charge iPhones. That means you can use your existing cables or find a standard one on the market.
It’s great to imagine a future where you can use your old Samsung or Pixel charger to power up your iPhone or AirPods.
Would this mean that Apple could stop shipping cables with iPhones? We do not know yet. But we hope that this will not be the case for at least the next few years.
One more benefit 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 could potentially move to USB 3.1 or 3.2 and unlock data transfer at several gigabits per second.
Apple already uses USB-C ports for charging and data transfer on MacBooks and iPads. Incorporating it into the iPhone 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 into their good books. It would be a win-win for everyone.