Even iPod inventor Tony Fadell says switching iPhone to USB-C is the 'right thing' to do

RAVPower USB-C To Lightning Cable connecting MacBook and iPhone
(Image credit: RAVPower)

Apple's impending switch from Lightning to USB-C is the "right thing" to do, according to former Apple VP and father of the iPod, Tony Fadell.

Writing to Twitter, Fadell said that "the world has converged on USB-C" and that Apple's switch away from Lightning was "overdue."

Greased Lightning

The argument against the Lightning cable, and for the switch to USB-C, has been an ongoing one. It's also one that is set to be lost by Apple, with an EU directive set to require all smartphones and similar tech to move to USB-C by 2024. As a result, Apple is expected to switch cable starting next year with the arrival of iPhone 15.

When questioned on that, Fadell jumped to the defense of USB-C, saying that he is "not too worried about this regulation" and going on to add that he was one of the people who created the MFi program — a program that requires accessory makers pay Apple in order to use the Lightning specification. It's that payment that many people believe is behind Apple's reluctance to switch to a common cable type, like USB-C.

The case for moving to USB-C is obvious. It would allow for faster file transfers for one, as well as faster charging. On a more basic level, those who already have other devices that charge using USB-C like a Nintendo Switch or Sony headphones, would only require one type of cable for everything. Now, they need USB-C for most things and Lightning for their Apple gear.

And not even all Apple gear, either. Most iPads use USB-C themselves, further complicating matters. With the EU's directive coming into force soon, expect Apple to move AirPods and other accessories to USB-C, too.

It looks increasingly likely that the latest iPhone 14 will be the last to use Lightning — time to start planning the big switchover if you plan on upgrading next year.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.