Apple gets final deadline for switching iPhone to USB-C (but it's ages away!)

iPhone lightning port
(Image credit: Future)

Following the European Community finally passing a new law, back in October, mandating that all new smartphones must have a USB-C Type-C charging port from the end of 2024, now a firm deadline has been set. Via Engadget (opens in new tab), we now know that phones (and other devices including tablets, headphones and portable speakers) will need to adopt USB-C charging by December 28, 2024. Devices that only support wireless charging will not be impacted. 

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As we’ve reported previously (opens in new tab), the new law will affect the smartphone market most and out if the manufacturers, it will hot Apple who has avoided the use (opens in new tab) of USB-C thus far, the hardest. 

Which will be the first iPhone with USB-C?

Now we have the exact date the law will come into effect we know that technically Apple could get away with retaining Lightning for the 2023 iPhone 15 and the 2024 iPhone 16, but the 2025 iPhone 17 will have to include USB-C. 

Of course we may well see Apple to convert to USB-C well ahead of the looming legislation. Analyst and leaker Ming-Chi Kuo (opens in new tab) (via TechRadar (opens in new tab)) who has a decent track record for Apple information, who alleges that all models in the upcoming iPhone 15 (opens in new tab) family will have a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port. 

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In his series of tweets (opens in new tab), Kuo claims that the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max only will benefit from the extra speed potential of USB-C. The two higher end models will supposedly support either USB-C 3.2 data transfer speeds -which can reach 20Gbps - or Thunderbolt 3 speeds - which can achieve up to 40Gbps. This means that the vanilla iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Max, will feature USB 2.0 speeds of 480Mbps – as per current Apple Lightning speeds. 

Conversely, if Apple decides to, they could get around the legislation by making the iPhone 17 completely portless – meaning it would need Wi-Fi for data transfer and just wireless charging for the battery. We don’t think this is likely but it could happen.

 

Keep up to date with the latest phone rumors (opens in new tab) and check out the best iPhones for photographers (opens in new tab). These are the Best USB-C hubs (opens in new tab) if you were wondering.

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Rachael is a British journalist with 18 years experience in the publishing industry. Since working on www.digitalcameraworld.com (opens in new tab), she’s been freelancing, and contributing to some of the world’s best-loved websites and magazines including T3.com and TechRadar.com and has also had a book, iPad for Photographers, published. She's currently acting as editor of 5GRadar.com - a website specializing in the latest cellular technology.