Apple is set to finally replace the lightning port with USB-C on the iPhone starting with iPhone 15. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, next year’s lineup will see a change in the bottom port section for the first time since 2012.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Kuo states that in 2023, Apple will switch the lighting port with the more modern USB-C port on the iPhone 15. Kuo says that the main push for the company to do it is to “improve iPhone’s transfer and charging speed in hardware designs.” However, iOS software support still needs to depend on it:
“My latest survey indicates that 2H23 new iPhone will abandon Lightning port and switch to USB-C port. USB-C could improve iPhone’s transfer and charging speed in hardware designs, but the final spec details still depend on iOS support.”
Kuo also notes that the existing USB-C accessories ecosystem will become a market focus for Apple. This would be one of the steps for the company to adapt the port to an already existing system of accessories such as IC controllers and connectors.
“It’s expected to see existing USB-C-related suppliers of Apple’s ecosystem (e.g., IC controller, connector) become the market’s focus in the next 1-2 years, thanks to vast orders from iPhones and accessories’ adoption of USB-C ports.”
Removing the lightning port and replacing it with USB-C will disrupt the already established ecosystem of lightning-supported accessories for the iPhone. However, one hint at fixing the issue is the expanding lineup of MagSafe accessories for the iPhone 12 and 13 devices.
Since 2016, Apple has been visioning a day where the iPhone becomes a device without ports, the reason it removed the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 lineup. Since 2019 with the iPhone 11, Apple has begun selling products that include a USB-C to lighting cable to most of its products.
Last month, the EU’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee voted in favor of a draft bill forcing all manufacturers including Apple to adopt USB-C as the common charger. The Cupertino-based giant has opposed the move. However, if the bill passes, it would be forced to adopt the modern port into all of the products it sells such as the iPhone.
It's expected to see existing USB-C-related suppliers of Apple's ecosystem (e.g., IC controller, connector) become the market's focus in the next 1-2 years, thanks to vast orders from iPhones and accessories' adoption of USB-C ports.
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) May 11, 2022