Apple may be planning a broader move away from its proprietary Lightning port than was initially suggested in reports earlier in the week. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the company is working on accessories, including AirPods as well as mouse and keyboard peripherals, that charge via USB-C.
1. Portless iPhone may cause more problems due to current limitations of wireless technologies & the immature MagSafe ecosystem.
2. Other Lightning port products (e.g., AirPods, Magic Keyboard/Trackpad/Mouse, MagSafe Battery) would also switch to USB-C in the foreseeable future. https://t.co/KD14TgBmtr
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) May 15, 2022
Kuo shared the forecast in response to a tweet he posted on May 11th. In that earlier message, he said Apple would redesign the iPhone to feature the more universal port standard by the second half of 2023. Bloomberg later corroborated Kuo’s prediction.
Exactly when Apple could move its accessories to USB-C is unclear. Kuo only said the transition would happen “in the foreseeable future.” According to the report Bloomberg published on Friday, Apple won’t release a USB-C iPhone until next year at the earliest. It would make the most sense for the company to complete the move all at once, but there’s no guarantee it will do things that way.
As with a potential USB-C iPhone, Apple’s motivation for moving its accessories away from Lightning may have more to do with avoiding regulatory scrutiny than creating a better user experience. In an effort to cut down on electronic waste, the European Union has spent years pushing for a universal charging port and last month moved one step closer to mandating USB-C on all small and medium-sized electronics.