As Bloomberg analyst Mark Gurman writes, “the iPhone 15 is essentially a lock for USB-C in the fall of 2023, beating the mandate by a year.”
With the new EU law taking effect in the autumn of 2024, Apple can use the Lightning port for another year. Cupertino, however, won’t wait until the last minute, according to Gurman.
This year, the base iPad, the last remaining Apple tablet with Lightning, will be upgraded to USB-C. Next year, the iPhone 15 series will be upgraded to USB-C.
There are other Apple devices that use the Lightning port as well, such as the AirPods, Magic Mouse, Magic Keyboard, and Magic Trackpad. USB-C will gradually replace those as well.
Wireless charging-only devices – such as Apple Watches – are specifically exempted from the EU law. Ultimately, Gurman believes Apple will use only wireless charging like MagSafe and will not use USB-C for long. Apple has been using Lightning for a decade now, but USB-C won’t stick around for nearly as long, predicts the analyst. The future is expected to see the end of wired charging on iPads as well.
Is there a reason why Apple has not yet adopted USB-C on iPhones (when it already does so on iPads and Macs)? Gurman believes it’s because it wants to present the switch as its own idea rather than something mandated by law. With the iPhone Pros now capable of taking 48MP RAW photos and 4K ProRes videos, the USB 2.0 speeds of Lightning just don’t cut it (Wi-Fi is faster, just in case you were worried).