Apple has for the first time confirmed that it will move the iPhone to USB-C, ditching Lightning. While the company isn't saying when that will happen, rumors already point to it taking place next year with iPhone 15.
The confirmation came during a conversation involving Apple VP of worldwide marketing Greg Joswiak during the Wall Street Journal's Tech Live event. A number of topics were discussed, but it's the USB-C confirmation that is perhaps most notable for a couple of reasons.
A rare admission
It isn't often that Apple confirms an iPhone feature almost a year before it is announced, but that's almost what happened during the live event yesterday. Speaking during the Wall Street Journal's event, Joswiak confirmed that Apple will "have to comply" with an EU mandate that ensures all personal technology uses a common charger. That charger is USB-C, with the requirement kicking in from 2024 onwards for most products — although some like laptops have a stay of execution.
The move to USB-C is already underway, of course. Apple already moved most iPad models to USB-C and its 10th-gen iPad also went that way this month. The iPhone isn't the only product Apple still needs to transition away from Lightning, though. AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max all use Lightning connectors, for example.
Rumors already have Apple testing a USB-C iPhone for next year's release and the EU's mandate isn't a surprise to anyone after years of rumblings. But the move away from Lightning is sure to upset plenty, especially those that hold the opinion that Apple regularly changes cables and connectors to eke more money out of them.
For reference, Apple introduced Lightning in 2012, replacing the 30-pin connector that was used from the original iPod days — a connector itself that was almost 10 years old before it was discontinued.
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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.