Please Apple, make 2024 the year the Lightning port disappears

Lightning cable and iPhone port
(Image credit: Future)

If there is one thing that I hope 2024 brings, I hope that it is the final push to end the Lightning port on Apple devices, once and for all.

While it was fine for most that Apple delayed its USB-C future for a while, we’ve passed that point and are now in a future where almost every new technology product, including Apple’s products, is using the new charging standard. There’s no more room for Lightning in the world, so it’s time for Apple to finish its rollout of USB-C and lay Lightning to rest.

We’re almost a decade into this transition

iPhone 15 Plus review

(Image credit: Future)

We’ve been on this road for a while now. The first Apple product to feature a USB-C port was the now-discontinued 12-inch MacBook that the company released back in 2015, so we’re almost a decade into this USB-C journey. I owned that 12-inch MacBook and can say that the also-now deceased Butterfly keyboard was fine — I know I am in the minority when I say that.

So, where do we stand eight years later? Well, we finally have USB-C on the iPhone with the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro. The iPad lineup has mostly made the switch to USB-C with the new 10th-generation iPad, the iPad Air, and the iPad Pro. Of course, the Mac has also made the switch to USB-C (not that it had Lightning before) with Apple’s new M-Series models. Even the Siri Remote for the Apple TV has switched to USB-C.

Okay, that seems like everything, right? If the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV have all made the switch to USB-C, aren’t we good here? Wrong, people. The devil is in the accessories with this one.

What’s left in the Lightning lineup?

AirPods Max

(Image credit: Future)

So, what Apple products are left that haven’t made the jump to USB-C? The most obvious one is the iPhone SE. Apple’s most affordable phone is still rocking that Lightning port in 2023, despite getting an update earlier this year. Of course, that’s not too surprising, considering that the company was sure to bring the new connector to its flagship phones before its “cheap” one. Hopefully, USB-C will come to the iPhone SE when we get our next update to the device — something that is expected to happen in 2024.

Another big one to note is the iPad. While Apple has a new base model iPad with its 10th generation, it has still kept the 9th generation iPad in the lineup with that pesky Lightning port. The company has also kept — well, really had to keep — that weird Apple Pencil with a Lightning port that plugs into the side of the iPad and looks like a spear coming out of the thing. Hopefully, both of those devices will be put out to pasture soon.

The last main Apple product that is still rocking Lightning are the AirPods Max, Apple’s most premium and expensive headphones. It does feel a little insane that the rest of the AirPods lineup like AirPods and AirPods Pro got the update to USB-C before the AirPods Max did, but this one falls into the same scenario as the iPhone SE — Apple just hasn’t released a new generation of its premium over-the-ear headphones yet. USB-C is sure to come to the 2nd-generation AirPods Max when they release — something that is expected to happen next year.

The rest of the Lightning leftovers are strewn across the company’s other accessories like keyboards, mice, and chargers. You still can’t buy a USB-C version of the Magic Mouse, Magic Keyboard, MagSafe Battery Pack, and MagSafe Duo Charger. The company even stopped selling the MagSafe Battery Pack and MagSafe Duo Charger without releasing a USB-C replacement.

Here’s hoping 2024 is the end of Lightning

Hopefully, Apple uses 2024 to finally finish its transition to USB-C. Heck, the company completed the transition from Intel to its own M-Series processors faster than it has been able to transition from Lightning to USB-C!

Personally, I’m waiting on the USB-C version of the AirPods Max. That’s the one product that is keeping me from leaving behind Lightning for good. Hopefully, any of us who are waiting to step into that USB-C future can do so next year. Come on, Apple! We’re so close.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.

  • Wotchered
    I honestly don't care, so long as it lasts.
  • ggore
    Sitting here looking at a pile of USB-C cables, no two of which have the same capabilities even though every one of them is completely identical, makes me nostalgic for the Lightning era, when you could grab ANY lightning cable, from Apple or any manufacturer, and know for sure that it could do ANYTHING you wanted to do with full capability.

    I find it very odd that none of these types of articles ever mention this glaring fault of the USB "standard". Yes it is great that all these cables have the same connector but it is maddening that no two have the same functions and capabilities.

    This is the curse of USB-C and so far, no one has been able to come up with a universally-used standard of markings or labels that will tell a user whether or not the cable in front of them will charge their device, or any device, at its full capability or provide the data, video, or audio capability they need from that cable. The Lightning standard was indeed fully universal. The USB standard is anything but.