The iPhone 15 USB-C port “is essentially a lock,” says Gurman

The iPhone 15 USB-C port “is essentially a lock,” says Gurman

iPhone 15 USB-C port, instead of a Lightning one, is “essentially a lock,” says Mark Gurman in his latest Power On newsletter.

It was widely speculated that Apple would choose iPhone 15 for a change, a year before it becomes mandatory for all smartphones sold in the European Union, but Gurman’s statement is the strongest we’ve seen to date…


Apple has always gone their own way on iPhone connectors, something that has proven to be an advantage in the past. When the industry standard was microUSB—a one-way connection and a port that was almost universally hated for awkward insertion—Apple had a much better two-way Lightning port.

However, the dreaded microUSB port has been replaced by USB-C, which is as easy to use as the Lightning port. Apple was an early adopter of this port in MacBooks, and most of its iPads have swapped Lightning for USB-C. The Lightning connector in the iPhone is now something of an anomaly in the range. Many Apple owners would love to use USB-C chargers and cables for all their devices.

Apple will also be forced to switch to USB-C for its 2024 iPhone lineup, as that’s the year the will become a legal obligation for all smartphones sold in 27 EU countries. While it’s theoretically possible that Apple could switch to a USB-C port only on European iPhone models, this would be an unnecessary complication and it seems far more likely that they’ll make the switch worldwide.

USB-C port for iPhone 15

The legal requirement would appear with the iPhone 16 in 2024, but there have been repeated reports that Apple plans to make the change a year earlier, in the iPhone 15.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said back in May that supply chain research points to Apple moving from Lightning to USB-C in the second half of 2023. Bloomberg reported that same month that Apple was internally testing an iPhone design with a USB-C port, but said only that 2023 would be at the earliest that the company will make the change.

However, the paper Mark Gurman in his latest goes further than this Power On newsletter.

Apple has been preparing for this law. I think the company will even easily beat the deadline with its most visible products. The iPhone 15 is essentially the key to getting USB-C in the fall of 2023, thus exceeding the mandate by a year.

Other possibilities remain

Although the new law is clear, it has several solutions. Apple could technically meet the requirement to allow iPhone charging via USB-C by including a USB-C-to-Lightning adapter in the package – but that doesn’t seem likely.

Some have also suggested that the Cupertino company could take the 2024 deadline as the time to switch to a completely sportless iPhone, which can only be charged wirelessly. Again, this would be in line with the law, as it only applies to devices that support wired charging. But while most consumers would probably be happy with wireless charging and data transfer, there are still professionals who use the iPhone as part of their work processes and want the fastest possible data transfer and charging.

AirPods, Magic Mouse, Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad

As we have notedthe requirement also applies to a wide range of other products, which – for Apple – would mean switching to USB-C charging for AirPods, Magic Mouse, Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad.

Gurman emphasizes that the law applies only to new devices, so Apple is free to continue selling all existing Lightning models as long as it wants. But as soon as it produces an updated model, the requirement for USB-C charging starts. It is not known when Apple will decide to update its Mac input devices, so they may move to USB-C later.

Render: iPhone concepts

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