As such, if Apple wants to continue to sell the likes of iPhones and iPads in Europe, of which there’s a population of some 447 million people in the EU, it will need to fully adopt USB-C. That’s not a huge deal, as most of its products, other than the current iPhones, AirPods and the entry-level iPad, can be charged with USB-C. But this all means that the iPhone will finally need to lose the Lightning connector that’s been a staple of Apple’s phones for years. We say this, as Apple is almost certainly not going to make a separate version of future iPhones for just Europe. And we doubt Cupertino will want to abandon that lucrative market either.
By 2024, Apple may be obliged to release an iPhone with USB-C connectivity, since the European Parliament has agreed that USB-C will become the standard charging connector across Europe by that time. This interim agreement (opens in new tab), which will be legally ratified when the European Parliament returns from break, would oblige electronics and phone manufactures to use USB-C as their charging standard in European Union countries. The concept is that by removing divergent charging standards and connections, which typically need devices to have their own chargers and cables, an unified standard can reduce electronic waste.
Given that most of Apple’s other products have adopted USB-C, it makes sense for Apple to do the same for iPhones. The iPhone 14 was tipped to go the USB-C route, but that smouldering rumor has had water poured on it of late. But come the iPhone 15, or iPhone 16 at the latest, we can expect Apple’s phones to have USB-C charging. The iPhone 15 would seem to be the most likely candidate to make the swap from Lighting to USB-C as that phone would likely launch early fall of next year. And Apple would likely want to be ahead of legislation rather than drag behind it. That same logic means there’s still an outside chance of a USB-C iPhone 14, but we’re not going to hold our breath.
Nevertheless, we feel an USB-C iPhone is a great idea, as it can be frustrating needing to carry around different chargers and cables, even within Apple’s own ecosystem, let alone a mixed one of iOS, Android and Windows devices.