According to a tweet from notable analyst Ming-chi Kuo (via 9to5Mac), next year’s iPhone 15 will be switching to USB-C, likely making it the last Apple mobile device to do so. Most iPads have already migrated to USB-C, though the base model still has to make the switch; it is expected that this will happen this fall.
Kuo, however, also believes that charging cases for all AirPods next year will be sporting USB-C connectors, too. It is unfortunately too soon for the upcoming AirPods Pro 2 to sport the standard connector, so those who want to hop on USB-C will have to wait until next year, assuming the rumor proves true. Once that happens, though, almost all of Apple’s devices will have ditched the Lightning connector for USB-C. Whether or not it will be the exact same USB-C standard or something debatably improved by Apple is left to be seen.
This predicted schedule goes in line with Apple’s compliance to switch iPhones to USB-C by 2024, according to new EU legislation. Of course, ditching the Lightning connector won’t be a simple matter of switching one connector for another. The change will have implications for many accessories, especially third-party ones, that take advantage of Lightning technology to function. Reworking products to use USB-C won’t happen overnight, and this switch from Lightning to USB-C will be quite disruptive. Fortunately, there’s still time to adjust designs and pipelines, but Apple should probably give manufacturers a heads up long before that happens.