After over a decade of using its proprietary Lightning charging port, Apple is facing mounting pressure to adopt the universal USB-C standard for the upcoming iPhone 15.
Apple Faces Growing Pressure for Universal Charging Standard
EU Legislation Requiring USB-C
The primary driving force is legislation passed by the European Union that requires all mobile devices sold in the EU to use USB-C charging by 2024. Since the iPhone 15 is expected to launch in September 2023, it would need to comply with the new rules. Rather than make a special version just for Europe, industry analysts expect Apple to switch to USB-C globally.
Consumer Benefits of USB-C
Transitioning to USB-C would provide some key benefits to iPhone users. It would allow customers to use the same charging cable for their iPhone, iPad, and MacBook products. USB-C also supports faster data transfer speeds up to 40 Gbps versus USB 2.0’s 480 Mbps max speed for Lightning.
For charging, USB-C can deliver up to 240 watts of power compared to Lightning’s limit of 15 watts without specialized Apple chargers. This would enable much faster charging times for the iPhone 15 if Apple chooses to take advantage of USB-C’s capabilities.
Will All iPhone 15 Models Make the Switch?
Rumors suggest Apple may limit USB-C to only the higher-end iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models this year, with the regular iPhone 15 and Plus still using Lightning.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, a reliable Apple insider, claimed in June that USB-C would be Pro-only. However, other reports indicate it will come to all versions. The full transition may wait until the 2024 iPhone 16 generation.
Concerns Over Apple Restrictions
While adopting the universal USB-C standard, there are concerns Apple may place restrictions to maintain control. For example, limiting faster charging or data speeds to Apple-certified cables.
Recent leaked photos of iPhone 15 components have fueled worries about a new “3LD3” chip that could identify certified accessories. However, limiting USB-C capabilities may violate EU rules that require an open standard accessible to all manufacturers.
Outlook for iPhone 15 Launch
Barring any last minute changes, the iPhone 15 lineup launching in September 2023 looks very likely to include USB-C, at least on Pro models if not across the board. This will finally bring the universal charging standard to Apple’s mobile devices. But the company may attempt to limit full functionality to its ecosystem.