Last month, the European Council (EC) approved Parliament’s common charger legislation requiring that electronic devices must have a USB-C charging port. And that includes the iPhone. Today, according to Cult of Mac, the EC decided that the new rule will take effect on December 28th, 2024. So that means that while Apple could replace the Lightning port with a USB-C port on next year’s iPhone 15 series, it won’t be required to do so by the EC until it launches the iPhone 17 presumably in September 2025.
After December 28th, 2024, products already released before that date can be sold without a USB-C port on board. Devices introduced after that date must use a USB-C port for charging. Most Android handsets already use USB-C which means that they will not be affected at all. Apple has already decided not to fight the change which will end the use of its proprietary Lightning port. Apple replaced the 30-pin connector it was using on the iPhone with the smaller, easier-to-use, and reversible Lightning port starting with the iPhone 5 in 2012.
Many iPhone fans have been looking forward to this change since it will allow them to use accessories not necessarily designed for iOS including those made for the Mac. Apple will feel the impact of the change where it hurts the company the most-in the wallet since it no longer will require iPhone buyers to purchase a Lightning cable for wired charging of the device. Instead, once the USB-C port is placed on the iPhone, users will be able to buy cheaper USB-C cables or use some that the iPhone owner happens to have lying around.
Apple’s proprietary Lightning plug on the left, USB-C on the right
Apple could decide not to wait for the iPhone 17 to use USB-C and make the change next year. That would make sense with the iPhone’s latest redesign expected for the iPhone 15 series; there are several tipsters who believe that Apple will indeed make the change with the 2023 models. Apple has already replaced the Lightning port with a USB-C port on the following iPad devices:
- iPad Pro (change first made in 2018).
- iPad Air (change first made in 2020).
- iPad mini (change first made in 2022).
- iPad (change first made in 2022).
Once the change is made and the iPhone sports a USB-C port, Apple will start using USB-C for accessories including the AirPods. You might remember that last year an engineering student modified an iPhone X replacing the Lightning port with a USB-C port. He later put the device up for auction where it fetched a high bid of $86,001. Yes, there is plenty of demand for an iPhone sporting a USB port.
Another advantage of the USB-C port is that it is faster than the Lightning port. The latter supports USB 2.0 with a data transfer speed of 480Mbps compared to USB-C which supports USB 3.0 and can transfer data as fast as 640Mbps. That makes USB-C 33% faster than the Lightning port.