I honestly couldn’t tell you how many times Apple’s been rumored to be dropping the Lightning connector on the iPhone in favor of USB-C. It seems that every new iPhone cycle, there’s at least one or two reports that suggest the new connector is on its way, yet none of them ever wind up being true. Because of that, there’s no way to know whether the latest USB-C iPhone leak from Ming-Chi Kuo can be trusted.
In a pair of tweets, famed analyst Kuo suggests that in 2023, the iPhone will finally make the switch to USB-C. The new port would improve both data and charging performance, but the actual specs will depend on what Apple equips iOS with for compatibility. The USB-C connector will quickly become the market’s focus in order to help the transition away from Lightning go more smoothly for consumers.
Admittedly, this rumor seems a bit strange. Kuo was one of the first to report last year that Apple had given up on working USB-C into the iPhone. Instead, the company seemed focused on making it completely portless while leaning on MagSafe for charging. It’s unclear what could have shifted the company’s focus in favor of switching to USB-C.
It could simply be due to the Lightning port being under constant scrutiny, not just by tech journalists but also law makers. The EU is currently considering legislation that would make USB-C mandatory on new devices in order to standardize charging and data cables and reduce e-waste, forcing Apple to make the switch anyway. Apple’s defense has been one of reduced competition if the policy were signed into law, claiming that such a standard would hinder innovation significantly.
Regardless of whether it happens or note, if it does, the timing will be long overdue. Modern charging standards are at or above 45W for many Android devices, while the iPhone is stuck at under 30W due to the aging Lightning port. Once Apple adds USB-C, however, that performance could greatly increase, as could data transfers. The accessory market, while it would have to adapt to the new port, could also open new capabilities for the iPhone.
Since nothing’s set in stone yet (and we’re a ways away from 2023), I have to advise you to take this report with a grain of salt. We’ll have to let this play out over the next year to see whether any other credible sources corroborate. I’ll let you know if I hear anything.