Next on the heels of leaks from trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who claims Apple will finally ditch its proprietary Lightning connector for the more widely supported USB-C standard in future iPhones, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman adds his own credence to the rumour. Earlier today, he reported that “people with knowledge of the situation” told him that the tests for replace Lightning with USB-C is already underway.
For those who are tired of juggling dozens of different cables, this is very good news. Kuo has said in the past that Apple has been reluctant to give up its Lightning connector, which non-Apple devices don’t use, because it’s better for “MFI business profitability” and because it has a higher waterproof specification than USB. But there’s no argument against the convenience of being able to use the same cable for all your devices, and Apple is all about convenience.
Don’t give Apple too much credit for this potential move, though. When Kuo made his initial leak, which was based on a survey of his own industry sources, he was doing so shortly after the EU Market and Consumer Protection Committee voted in favor of the legislation it would force companies to adopt USB-C on all small and medium-sized gadgets.
While the Universal Serial Bus port is truly universal, this change would also provide these gadgets with the faster transfer and charging speeds enjoyed by USB-C. USB-C cables, being a newer standard than Lightning, can transfer data at up to 40 Gbps, while Lightning still exceeds USB 2’s maximum speed of 480 Mbps. Much of Apple’s ecosystem gets around this by focusing on downloads, but it’s clear that Lightning is getting a bit long in the tooth at this point.
Of course, since much of Apple’s current ecosystem relies on Lightning connectors, the company should also create a Lightning to USB-C adapter for any new iPhone or other USB-C device. Bloomberg says this is also in testing. Still, while a swap to USB-C would be a boon for anyone switching to Apple, it could be a thorn in the side of anyone already deeply involved in the Apple ecosystem. Third-party accessory makers, who create devices like car chargers and adapters, would also have to redesign their products if the change comes through.
When will the iPhone switch to USB-C?
But any change, according to Bloomberg, wouldn’t happen until “2023 at the earliest.” Note that when we reported on the Kuo leak, we mentioned the iPhone 15, not the iPhone 14. In other words, feel free to buy Apple hardware just because future models might be easier to connect to the rest of your devices. This change is still a long way off and is still in the rumor phase.
Overall, though, such a move would make Apple’s ecosystem fairer, as would any change in device locking to a proprietary standard. At the same time, Apple could circumvent the problem doing an entirely portless iPhone that focuses solely on MagSafe charging. However, this would block connectivity for some cars and potentially slow charging and data transfer speeds.
Will Apple TV get a price drop?
The iPhone isn’t the only Apple device Kuo has used make predictions approximately, by the way. Earlier today, he said Apple would release “a new version of Apple TV that improves the cost structure” in the second half of this year.
The cheapest Apple TV, which peaks at a resolution of 1080p, costs $150. The top-end 4K model starts at $179. Meanwhile, a Roku Streaming Stick that supports 4K costs just $50. While we don’t know the details of Apple’s new “cost structure”, it’s clear that a discount is in order, even if Apple’s offerings have some leeway as top devices. of range.