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iPhone is already being tested to ditch Lightning in favor of USB-C

Photo of iPhone 12 Pro

iphone 12 pro
A photo: Caitlin McGarry/Gizmodo

Following in hot pursuit leaks From trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who claims that Apple will finally ditch its proprietary Lightning connector for the more widely supported USB-C standard in future iPhones, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman adds some credibility to the rumors. Earlier today, he revealed that “people in the know” are telling him that testing replace Lightning with USB-C already going.

For those who are tired of juggling dozens of different cables, this is great news. Kuo has said in the past that Apple doesn’t want to quit its Lightning connector, which is not used in non-Apple devices because it is better for MFI’s “business profitability” and because it has higher water resistance performance than USB. But there’s no objection to the convenience of using the same cable for all your devices, and Apple is committed to convenience.

However, let’s not give Apple too much credit for this potential move. When Kuo made his initial leak, which was based on a survey among his own industry sources, he did so shortly after the EU Market and Consumer Protection Committee voted for the law this will force companies to use USB-C on all small and medium sized gadgets.

While the Universal Serial Bus port has become truly universal, this change will also give these gadgets faster transfer and charging speeds than USB-C boasts. USB-C cables, which are a newer standard than Lightning, can transfer data at up to 40Gbps, while Lightning’s top speed is still around 480Mbps for USB 2. Much of the Apple ecosystem gets around this by focusing on on downloads, but it’s clear that Lightning is a little behind at the moment.

Of course, since much of Apple’s current ecosystem is built around Lightning connectors, the company will also need to create a Lightning to USB-C adapter for any new USB-C iPhones or other devices. Bloomberg says this is also in testing. That said, while switching to USB-C would be a boon for anyone who’s just switched to Apple, it could be a thorn in the side for anyone already deeply immersed in the Apple ecosystem. Third-party accessory makers that create devices such as chargers and car adapters will also need to redesign their products.

When will the iPhone switch to USB-C?

But no change, according to Bloomberg, won’t happen until “early 2023”. Note that when we reported Kuo’s leak, we mentioned the iPhone 15, not the iPhone 14. In other words, don’t put off buying Apple hardware just because future models could potentially be easier to connect to the rest of your devices. This change is still far away, and is still in the rumor stage.

Overall, however, such a move would make the Apple ecosystem more equitable, as would any move from blocking devices to a proprietary standard. In the meantime, Apple may sidestep that change by working on a completely portless iPhone that focuses solely on MagSafe charging. However, this will block connectivity for some vehicles and also potentially slow down charging and data transfer speeds.

Will the price of Apple TV go down?

The iPhone isn’t the only Apple device Kuo has used. make predictions oh by the way. Earlier today, he said that Apple will release “a new version of Apple TV with an improved cost structure” in the second half of this year.

The cheapest 1080p Apple TV costs $150. The top 4K model starts at $179. Meanwhile, the 4K capable Roku Streaming Stick costs just $50. While we don’t know the specifics of Apple’s new “cost structure”, it’s clear that a discount is needed, even if Apple’s offerings have some leeway as premium devices.

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