Kuo: iPhone 15 will switch from Lightning to USB-C in 2023

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

USB C Over Lightning Function
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 todayKuo said the latest supply chain survey indicates Apple will ditch Lightning in 2023 in favor of USB-C. Kuo noted that USB-C would improve transfer speeds on the iPhone‌ and charging speeds.

Kuo had previously said that Apple would stick with Lightning on the “iPhone” for the “foreseeable future”, saying that switching to USB-C would be detrimental to Apple’s MiFi business and have less watertight specs. Now Apple has reportedly changed its tone. One possible reason for Apple’s change of heart is the pressure the EU is putting on the company.

The EU continues to pass on new legislation that would force Apple to use USB-C on all iPhones, iPads and AirPods sold in Europe. If such legislation is passed, Apple would either have to ship specially designed USB-C equipped models of its products to Europe, while the rest of the world stick to Lightning, or use USB-C for all of its products worldwide.

Most of Apple’s iPad lineup already features USB-C for faster transfer speeds of accessories such as cameras. For photographers and cinematographers, a demographic that Apple has been targeting with its high-end iPhones, the Lightning port is 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 wider ecosystem of USB-C accessories.

The initial speculation was that Apple would keep the Lightning port on the ‌iPhone‌ until it is completely portless, just relying on MagSafe to upload and transfer files. ‌MagSafe‌ was first introduced on the ‌iPhone‌ with the iPhone 12 in 2020, so it’s still a relatively new technology for the iPhone‌. Pressure from the EU may have forced Apple to rethink its timeline to move completely portless, forcing it to comply with possible future regulations and move the “iPhone” to USB-C.

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