According to numerous reports and rumors, Apple is expected to remove the Lightning port from the iPhone, AirPods, and other accessories, in favor of USB-C connectivity, possibly by 2023 with the iPhone 15 lineup. TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today reiterated those rumors and further added that the tech giant will launch new charging cases for AirPods with USB-C next year.
AirPods Pro 2 will still feature a Lightning port, next year’s AirPods will feature USB-C ports
Apple’s upcoming AirPods Pro 2 are set to enter mass production in Vietnam soon so that the company can launch them before the year ends. According to an earlier report from Kuo, the earbuds will retain the Lightning port for charging. Apple’s AirPods 3 also feature a Lightning port.
According to Kuo’s tweet, the Cupertino tech giant could remove the Lightning port from its AirPods by 2023. The analyst further reiterated his earlier statement about the second-generation AirPods Pro featuring a Lightning port.
I predict Apple will launch USB-C-capable charging cases for all AirPods models in 2023. However, the charging case of the new AirPods Pro 2 launched in 2H22 may still support Lightning.
Earlier this year in May, Kuo said that Apple will not only switch its iPhone from Lightning to USB-C connectivity by 2023 but its accessories including the Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad, Magic Mouse accessories for Mac, and the MagSafe Battery Pack for iPhone will also feature USB-C connectivity.
In 2021, it was rumored that Apple might switch to using USB-C on its iPhones. However, those rumors were quickly shut down as analysts believed that the impact of switching to USB-C would be detrimental to Apple’s Made for iPhone (MFi) program. In addition, the standard carries a lower specification than Apple’s Lightning port and MagSafe.
After integrating MagSafe with the iPhone 12 lineup, Apple was expected to switch to a portless iPhone altogether when the time comes to ditch its proprietary Lightning port. However, that is unlikely to happen now. Kuo has previously explained that a “Portless iPhone may cause more problems due to current limitations of wireless technologies & the immature MagSafe ecosystem.”
It is also theorized that Apple’s decision to switch its products from Lightning has something to do with the decision of the European Commission to move forward with its 2021 legislation that aims to establish a common charger for mobile phones, tablets, cameras, and other electronic devices within the 27-nation bloc.
If the legislation ends up being implemented as a law, Apple will have to remove its proprietary Lightning port from all iPhones, iPads, and AirPods in Europe anyways. Therefore, it makes sense that its next move is a unified switch from Lightning to USB-C across all of its products.