A USB-C iPhone isn’t going to kill the Lightning cable…yet

A USB-C iPhone isn't going to kill the Lightning cable...yet
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In a rare instance, Apple this week gave a tangible hint about the future of the iPhone. Company executives confirmed that Apple will do so comply with the mandate of the European Union that all phones in the region Adopt 2024 USB-C as a common smartphone charging port. This means that future iPhones will have to move away from the Lightning connector exists since 2012.

The transition to USB-C seems inevitable for them iPhone in view of the new requirements of the EU. Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, speaks at the Wall Street Journal Tech Live Conference, said that the company had “no other choice” and that Apple would “comply with local laws,” as is the case around the world. But that doesn’t mean that the Lightning cable is dying out. The Lightning connector may play a bigger role in Apple’s lineup than you might expect, thanks to the multitude of accessories that still use it and the popularity of older iPhones.

It’s no secret that USB-C is becoming more common in Apple products. It’s present on every iPad in the company’s current portfolio, with the exception of the ninth-gen iPad from 2021. You’ll also find USB-C ports in Apple’s MacBook Pro and Air lines.

leg consumer and tech critic how have been waiting for USB-C to arrive on iPhone. An iPhone X modified with a USB-C connector even sold on eBay last year for $86,001. After all, why not use the same cable to charge your iPhone, iPad and Mac? The EU’s new mandate is a step towards a simpler charging experience in the long term. However, there’s also a chance the transition period will create friction as consumers may switch between chargers to power new iPhones alongside older accessories.

Aside from the iPhone, there are a handful of products that require a Lightning connection for wired charging. Such devices include AirPods earplugs, the AirPods max, the first-generation Apple Pencil (which, oddly enough, is the only model that works with the new iPad with USB-C), the Magic Mouse, the Magic Trackpad, and the Magic Keyboard. That means owners of these devices may still need to swap out cables if they buy an iPhone with USB-C in the future.

Apple didn’t immediately respond to CNET’s request for comment on whether it plans to keep the Lightning port for future versions of these products.

It’s also important to remember that not every iPhone buyer will go for the latest model. Apple often discounts older versions as soon as a new iPhone arrives. Take the current lineup, for example, which still includes last year’s lineup iPhone 13 and the iPhone 12 of 2020. Apple also kept the iPhone 11 in the lineup at a lower price of $499 after the launch of the iPhone 13 in September 2021. If Apple keeps this tradition going, there will likely be some Lightning-powered iPhones in its 2023 lineup as well.

While many buyers are flocking to the latest iPhone, there is a sizeable market for older iPhones. The iPhone 11 was the 5th best selling smartphone in 2021 despite launching in 2019 counterpoint research. Sales of the iPhone 11, iPhone SE and 4-year-old iPhone XR accounted for 15% of US iPhone sales in March 2022 Consumer Intelligence Research Partner.

Refurbished iPhones are also popular, with Apple accounting for more than 40% of the global second phone market, according to a separate report counterpoint research Report. Considering that all iPhones have been charging via Lightning since 2012, it’s safe to say that those who buy refurbished models in the future will want to stick with their Lightning cables. This is particularly relevant when you consider that demand for refurbished phones increased by 15% in 2021 as customers sought to avoid high prices and make more sustainable purchasing decisions. counterpoint also reported.

People may also tend to keep their current phones longer as inflation drives down other daily expenses. Global smartphone shipments are set to fall 6.5% in 2022 as inflation has weakened demand, the company said International Data Corporation. The average age of exchanged smartphones is therefore 3.5 years for the first time insureran insurance provider that also helps businesses Develop device trade-in programs. As more older iPhones remain in use, more Lightning cables will remain in circulation.

In the long run, the move to USB-C will be an improvement for iPhone owners. The change will allow the latest iPads, Macs and eventually iPhones to be charged with a single cable – which is exactly why the EU made USB-C mandatory in the first place. The switch also comes at an ideal time considering iPhones are becoming less reliant on wired connections thanks to improvements in wireless charging, the rising popularity of Bluetooth accessories, and Apple’s new MagSafe connection system.

But such transitions take time. And there are still many unanswered questions about how Apple will comply with the EU’s decision. For example, we don’t know if Apple will switch to USB-C in 2023 or if it will wait until 2024. We don’t know if Apple will use USB-C specifically for European iPhones, or if it will become the standard worldwide.

What seems clear, however, is that the launch of a USB-C iPhone could be a step towards using one universal cable for everything. But it won’t happen overnight.

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