All signs point to Apple finally making the switch to USB-C in the iPhone 15 next year. This change is largely due to new legislation in the European Union, but with the Port of Lightning turning 10 years old. , it's time for a change anyway.
But while the iPhone 15's transition to USB-C will be celebrated, it will be a messy transition … and Apple doesn't seem to care.
USB -C for iPhone! Hooray!
Probably the iPhone should have switched to USB-C years ago, and we can all agree on that. Apple went further with USB-C when it updated the MacBook Pro with just four USB-C ports for charging and connectivity. iPad began the transition to USB-C in 2018 with the iPad Pro, a process that was only completed last month with the new iPad 10.
This means that Apple is currently only selling two flagship products. with Lightning: the entire iPhone lineup (from iPhone SE to the latest iPhone 14) and iPad 9.
But what really gets messy is Apple accessories. Apple will reportedly transition its accessories to USB-C with the iPhone 15 next year, but Apple should have started this year (if not sooner).
AirPods Pro 2 issue
The most confusing aspect of Apple's roadmap is the AirPods Pro 2 and the new Siri Remote that comes with the latest Apple TV 4K and also available separately. Although the AirPods Pro 2 charging case was released weeks apart, it uses Lightning, while the new Siri Remote uses USB-C.
Interestingly, EU law in its current form requires that to make AirPods Pro switch to USB-C for charging, but not to Siri Remote. So why didn't Apple switch the AirPods Pro to USB-C in this year's version? After all, the AirPods Pro 2 feature an all-new Find My charging case and speaker. It looks like it would be a great opportunity to replace this Lightning port as well.
Pretty much all Apple Mac accessories still use Lightning for charging. There's also a MagSafe battery pack with Lightning, the increasingly less useful MagSafe Duo, and AirPods 2 and AirPods 3.
But even if the iPhone 15 switches to USB-C, you won't be able to throw away all your Lightning cables. At least not without shelling out for updated versions of USB-C Apple accessories. Most likely, the company will sell a new version of AirPods charging cases with USB-C.
Did you just buy AirPods Pro 2 for $249? Sorry, you'll have to shell out another $79 for an upgraded USB-C charging case. This is, of course, the strategy we're used to at Apple. The original AirPods Pro didn't offer MagSafe charging, but a year later, Apple updated the case with magnetic wireless charging. This is a good way to get a few more dollars in profit from AirPods users all over the world.
One nice feature of the AirPods Pro 2 is that they can be charged using the Apple Watch charger. If you're traveling, this means you don't need to grab an AirPods Pro-only Lightning cable, unless you want to quickly connect them without balancing the magnetic connection.
Don't get me wrong, the iPhone 15's transition to USB-C is an important step in the right direction, albeit a few years late. I'd rather see Apple make the change on its own rather than in response to government legislation. I also wish the company had already started moving all their accessories to USB-C.
Apple still has time to move its iPhone-adjacent products to USB-C before the release of iPhone 15, but the clock is ticking. The release of the AirPods Pro 2 does not bode well for the company's plans to make this transition as smooth as possible.
What do you think? Would you prefer AirPods Pro 2 to have USB-C for charging? What about other Apple accessories? Let us know about it in the comments.