A new report by Mark Gurman for Bloomberg (opens in new tab) says that according to his sources (which remain anonymous) Apple is testing future iPhone models that replace the Lightning charging port with USB-C connector.
The report states that: “if the company proceeds with the change, it wouldn’t occur until 2023 at the earliest. Apple is planning to retain the Lightning connector for this year’s new models,” which comes as a bit of a blow as it was generally felt that with European legislation looming, Apple may switch to USB-C for the iPhone 14 (opens in new tab) launch.
Gurman’s sources, whom he wrote “asked not to be identified because the matter is private” – so still to be taken with a pinch of salt – also claim that Apple is working on an adapter that would let future iPhones work with accessories designed for the current Lightning connector. This would certainly be good news for the environment, so we hope it is true.
Looming EU law
Last month, members of the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in support of legislation that will compel Apple to offer a USB-C port on all iPhones, iPads, and AirPods in Europe – so we know the change is definitely coming. The directive will force all manufacturers who sell consumer electronics in Europe to feature a USB-C port on all new phones, tablets, laptops, digital cameras, headphones, headsets, handheld videogame consoles, and portable speakers. The only exception will be if devices are too small to offer a USB-C port - smart watches, for example.
The iPhone 5 was the first of the iPhone generations (opens in new tab) to feature a Lightning port and the company has stuck with it since, while the rest of the smartphone industry has transitioned to USB-C, undeniably a more versatile port. Oddly, Apple now offers USB-C on the majority of its iPads and all of its Mac computers but it’s iPhone line-up has stuck fast to its Lightening port.
Switching from Lightening to USB-C would be more environmentally friendly and would inevitably lessen Apple’s grip over the smartphone industry. The companies that make Apple accessories would no longer be forced to produce their products in-line with Apple guidelines which would certainly push prices down.
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