Report: Apple Could Ship First iPhone With USB-C Port in 2023

Posted on May 11, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Apple, Hardware, Mobile with 26 Comments

Apple could be getting ready to replace the Lightning ports on its iPhones with standard USB-C ports starting next year. The information comes from the usually well-informed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who based his claims on a recent “survey” that could possibly involve Apple’s USB-C suppliers.

“My latest survey indicates that 2H23 new iPhone will abandon Lightning port and switch to USB-C port. USB-C could improve iPhone’s transfer and charging speed in hardware designs, but the final spec details still depend on iOS support. It’s expected to see existing USB-C-related suppliers of Apple’s ecosystem (e.g., IC controller, connector) become the market’s focus in the next 1-2 years, thanks to vast orders from iPhones and accessories’ adoption of USB-C ports,” the analyst tweeted earlier today.

Apple introduced its proprietary Lighting connector ten years ago with the iPhone 5 and the 4th gen iPad, but the latest iPad Air and iPad Pro models finally made the switch to USB-C. It would make sense for Apple to also adopt USB-C on future iPhones, especially if this could lead to better transfer and charging speeds, as Ming-Chi Kuo claimed.

The increasing pressure from regulators may also be another factor pushing Apple to fully embrace USB-C. The European Union is determined to set USB-C-C as the new charging standard on portable devices, though Apple could still find an alternative solution by ditching its Lightning port for good and making all future iPhones charge wirelessly.

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Comments (26)

26 responses to “Report: Apple Could Ship First iPhone With USB-C Port in 2023”

  1. rob_segal

    It would nice if Apple uses USB-C for charging on iPhones instead of going with wireless charging only. Maybe, this story means they are moving in this direction, but I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up being wireless charging only next year or in the near future. Transitioning to USB-C for a few years and then go wireless only seems unnecessary at this point.

    • wright_is

      The biggest problem at the moment is the USB 2.0 speed of Lightning on the iPhones combined with ProRes video, which is GB a minute in size, it takes an age to copy them off onto a Mac or PC, with USB 3.2 or USB 4 speeds, it would take just seconds. Wireless (Wi-Fi) would be somewhere in the middle.

      • rob_segal

        Apple could lean on their ecosystem for this. USB-C would make it easier for Android users to quickly switch to iPhones. I just wonder how this will affect their idea to remove lightning and use wireless charging only. The EU is complicating this with their single charging standard.

        • bluvg

          Oh, the calculus for Apple... more money from potential phone sales, or more money from guaranteed accessories sales?

        • wright_is

          Devices that are purely charged via wireless don’t need a USB-C port.

    • iAlrakis

      I guess they will push wireless charging in the near future but on the other hand some form of 'wired' charging should still be possible without a port in my opinion. With something like the keyboard connectors on iPads

    • fishnet37222

      I hope they don't go wireless charging only. It's much easier and quicker to transfer music from my PC to my iPhone using a cable.

      • bluvg

        There seem to be battery life implications to wireless charging as well? I recall reading a paper on this, but haven't been able to find it.

  2. rupertholmes

    Another reason to keep the cord is that many vehicles still require a cable to use Apple CarPlay. 2020 Mercedes requires a cable.

    • pesos

      Been using a wireless carplay adapter for over a year now, works great.

      Eventually Apple may see fit to release their own (at 2.5x the price).

    • fishnet37222

      My 2019 Hyundai Accent requires a cable for both CarPlay and Android Auto.

    • jgraebner

      Wireless CarPlay/Android Auto aren't even standard on 2022 cars. I recently bought a 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and it still requires a wired connection. When researching, I found that options would be vastly limited if wireless phone connection were a requirement.

  3. randallcorn

    Guarantee it will not work like a normal USB-C and you can ONLY use Apple cords or it will not work because they will of course do something only standard to Apple.

    • mattbg

      This doesn't sound right. I can connect my years-old iPad Pro to a non-Apple USB-C/Thunderbolt KVM and get full display, keyboard, and mouse support without having to do anything special. At least for that device, they have implemented it properly.

    • SvenJ

      They haven't done this on any of the multitude of USB-C devices they already have.

  4. clutem1987

    Wireless charging is inefficient. I’ve always found wired with a rapid charger to work faster. Even when using MagSafe.

  5. StevenLayton

    There is something wrong with the hero image in this article. The charge socket isn't clogged with pocket fluff!

  6. Daekar

    You just know that even if they go USB-C, it's not going to be normal, and there will be some kind of compatibility hurdle which prevents universal accessories.

    • Donte

      They will have to be "licensed" by Apple to be compatible or some BS like that.

      DongleFest 3.0. As I sit here at lunch with my 16inch Macbook Pro (M1 Pro) with a USB-C to A dongle to make my favorite Logtiech mouse work. I probably have $300 in dongles for this Macbook alone.

  7. simont

    Anybody want to place money on Apple using a USB-C connector but having its own special setup so we won't be able to use just any USB-C cable, at least at full speed.

    • Stabitha.Christie

      Sounds like a losing bet. Apple does proprietary connectors when it adds some sort of functionality that isn't in existence already. USB C wasn't around when Thunderbolt was introduce and Apple didn't feel like waiting.

  8. wright_is

    The latest iPad mini has USB-C, the Air and the Pros have had it for a couple of years now.

    • rob_segal

      If Apple's goal is still to make the iPhone wireless charging only, transitioning to USB-C temporarily might not be the best thing for iPhone owners. The EU may not give Apple this option, but it's something to keep in mind.

      • wright_is

        Wireless charging is still slow and very inefficient, compared to wired charging, although it is convenient.

        • fishnet37222

          It's not convenient if you want to transfer music from your PC to your phone.

          • iAlrakis

            I'm pretty sure I've read about transferring music from PC to iPhone without cables. No idea about transfer speeds though. Maybe that's what you are referring to.