This week, Apple gave a concrete hint regarding the future of the iPhone, an uncommon occurrence. Apple will abide by the European Union’s directive that all phones in the area adopt USB-C as the standard smartphone charging port by 2024, according to company executives, who also confirmed this. As a result, future iPhones will have to abandon the Lightning Cable, which has been around since 2012.
Given the new specifications set forth by the EU, the iPhone’s switch to USB-C is likely. Speaking at the Wall Street Journal Tech Live conference, Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of global marketing, asserted that the business has “no alternative” but to “comply with local laws” as it does everywhere else. However, this does not necessarily imply that the Lightning cable is going extinct very soon. Due to the abundance of accessories that continue to use it and the popularity of earlier iPhones, the Lightning port may have a bigger impact on Apple’s portfolio than you may anticipate.
It’s no secret that Apple devices are using USB-C more and more frequently. With the exception of the iPad from the ninth generation due out in 2021, it is available on every iPad in the company’s current lineup. Apple’s MacBook Pro and Air models both have USB-C connectors.
But the USB-C port on the iPhone has been eagerly awaited by both consumers and tech reviewers. Even last year, a customized iPhone X with a USB-C connector sold for $86,001 on eBay. After all, why wouldn’t you want to charge your iPhone, iPad, and Mac with the same cord? The new EU directive is a step in the direction of longer-term charging convenience. However, there is a likelihood that consumers may switch between chargers during the transition period in order to charge both new iPhones and older accessories.
The Best USB-C iPhone In 2022
Apart from the iPhone, there are a few products that need a Lightning connection for cable charging. AirPods headphones, AirPods Max, the first-generation Apple Pencil (which weirdly is the only model that works with the new iPad with USB-C), Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, and Magic Keyboard are some examples of these gadgets. Therefore, owners of these gadgets could still need to switch cables if they later buy an iPhone with USB-C.
TECHJAZZUP contacted Apple for comment regarding whether it intended to keep the Lightning port on future iterations of these products, but it didn’t respond right away.
There is a sizable market for older iPhones despite the fact that many consumers may rush to buy the most recent model. Despite its 2019 introduction, the iPhone 11 was the sixth most popular smartphone in 2021, according to Counterpoint Research. According to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, sales of the iPhone 11, iPhone SE, and the 4-year-old iPhone XR made up 15% of US iPhone sales in the March 2022 quarter.
According to a different Counterpoint Research survey, refurbished iPhones are also popular, with Apple controlling more than 40% of the global market for second-hand phones. It’s safe to suggest that people acquiring refurbished phones in the future will want to hold on to their Lightning cables given that all iPhones manufactured since 2012 charge using The Lightning Cable. That is especially pertinent given that, according to Counterpoint, demand for refurbished phones climbed 15% in 2021 as consumers sought to avoid paying high prices and make more responsible purchasing decisions.
As inflation raises the cost of other everyday costs, people could be more likely to hang onto their current phones for longer. The International Data Corporation projects a 6.5% drop in global smartphone sales in 2022 as a result of weaker demand due to inflation. According to Assurant, an insurance company that also assists businesses in creating device trade-in programs, the average age of smartphones that have been turned in has also risen to 3.5 years for the first time. There will be more the Lightning Cable available the longer legacy iPhones are used.
In the long run, iPhone owners will benefit from the switch to USB-C. Most latest iPads, Macs, and eventually iPhones will be able to be charged with a single connection thanks to the change, which is exactly why the EU made USB-C required in the first place. The change occurred at the perfect time as Bluetooth devices, improved wireless charging, and Apple’s new MagSafe connection mechanism have all led to a decrease in the dependence of iPhones on wired connections.
However, these kinds of transformations take time. Additionally, there are still a lot of unanswered concerns regarding Apple’s ability to abide by the EU ruling. For instance, it’s unclear if Apple will move to USB-C in 2023 or wait until 2024. Whether Apple would employ USB-C exclusively for European iPhones or if it will become the norm worldwide is unknown.
However, it does appear like the introduction of a USB-C iPhone may be a step toward the use of a single universal connector for everything. However, it won’t happen immediately.