Apple will ditch its proprietary Lightning port and switch to USB-C on all or possibly some models of the iPhone 15 lineup destined to launch in the second half of 2023, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today.


Since the ‌iPhone‌ 5, Apple has kept the Lightning port on the ‌iPhone‌, despite much of the industry moving to USB-C. In a tweet today, Kuo said that the latest supply chain survey indicates that Apple will ditch Lightning in favor of USB-C in 2023. Kuo noted that USB-C would improve transfer speeds on the ‌iPhone‌ and improve charging speeds.

Kuo had previously said that Apple would be sticking with Lightning on the ‌iPhone‌ for the “foreseeable future,” saying that switching to USB-C would be harmful to Apple’s MiFi business and has lesser waterproof specification. Now, Apple has reportedly changed its tone. One possible reason for Apple’s change in heart is pressure being placed upon it by the EU.

The EU continues to move forward with passing new legislation that would force Apple to adopt USB-C on all iPhones, iPads, and AirPods sold in Europe. Such legislation, if passed, would require Apple to either ship specially designed USB-C equipped models of its products to Europe while keeping the rest of the world stuck with Lightning or adopt USB-C for all of its products globally.

Most of Apple’s iPad lineup already features USB-C for faster transfer speeds from accessories such as cameras. For photographers and cinematographers, a demographic Apple has been keen to target with its high-end iPhones, the Lightning port represents a bottleneck for transferring large video and photo files. A move to USB-C would ease that workflow, make it easier to transfer files and be supported by a broader ecosystem of USB-C accessories.

Initial speculation was that Apple would keep the Lightning port on the ‌iPhone‌ until it’s ready to go entirely port-less, relying simply on MagSafe to charge and transfer files. ‌MagSafe‌ was first introduced on the ‌iPhone‌ with the iPhone 12 in 2020, so it’s still a relatively new technology to the ‌iPhone‌. The pressure being placed by the EU may have forced Apple to reconsider its timeline for moving entirely portless, requiring it to comply with possible upcoming regulations and move the ‌iPhone‌ to USB-C.

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