In a rare event this week, Apple offered tangible clues about the future of the iPhone. A group of executives confirmed Apple’s willlike all the phones in the country . This means that future iPhones will need to switch from the existing Sky Connect .
The transition to USB-C seems inevitablegiven the new EU requirements. Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of global marketing, speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference, said the company had “no choice” and that Apple would “comply with local laws” as it does around the world. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the lightning bolt is still just extinguished. The Lightning port may play a bigger role in Apple’s lineup than you might expect, due to the multitude of accessories that still use it and the popularity of older iPhones.
It’s no secret that USB-C is becoming more and more common in Apple products. It is present on every iPad in the current portfolio except for the ninth generation iPad from 2021. You will also find USB-C ports on Apple’s MacBook Pro and Air lineup.
But consumers and tech critics have been waiting for the likes of USB-C to arrive on the iPhone. A modified iPhone X with a USB-C port also sold for $86,001 on eBay last year. After all, why wouldn’t you want to use the same cable to charge your iPhone, iPad and Mac? The new EU mandate represents a step towards a simpler experience in the long term. However, even in the event of a transition period, it could cause some friction as consumers are potentially running between the bowls for the new iPhones and the accessories of the heirs from the power sector.
There are few products that require a Lightning connection for wired charging, except from the iPhone. It includes such thoughtsearphones, the the first generation Apple Pencil (which is oddly the only model that works with the new USB-C-iPad), the Magic Mouse, the Magic Trackpad and the Magic Keyboard. That means owners of these devices may still find themselves charging for inverters if they purchase an iPhone with USB-C in the future.
Apple did not immediately respond to CNET’s request for comment on whether it plans to keep the Lightning port on future versions of these products.
It is also important to remember that not every iPhone buyer has opted for the latest model. Apple often discounts older versions once the new iPhone arrives. Take the current line, for example, which still includes the yearand 2012’s iPhone 12. Apple also kept the iPhone 11 in line at a lower price of $499 In September 2021. If Apple claims this tradition, there will probably still be lightning-powered iPhones in its 2023 lineup as well.
Although many shoppers flock to the latest iPhone, there is a large market for older iPhones. The iPhone 11 was the fifth best-selling smartphone in 2021, despite being launched in 2019, according to Counterpoint Research. Sales of the iPhone 11, iPhone SE and 4-year-old iPhone XR will account for 15% of US iPhone sales in the March 2022 quarter, according to the intelligence of Consumer Research Partners.
iPhones are also popular, with Apple accounting for more than 40% of the global smartphone market according to a separate Counterpoint Research report. Considering all iPhones since 2012 have been subject to lightning strikes, it’s safe to say that future buyers of refurbished models will want to hang on to their Lightning cables. That is particularly relevant considering the demand for refurbished phones will increase by 15% in 2021 as customers look to avoid higher prices and make more sustainable purchase decisions, the counterpoint was also reported.
There may also be a tendency to keep on running phones longer as inflation affects other daily expenses. Global machine ship shipments are expected to decline 6.5% in 2022, as inflation weakened demand, according to International Data Corporation. The average age of business owners on smartphones has also reached 3.5 years for the first time, according to Assurant, an insurance provider that also helps technology companies develop programs. The more legacy iPhones remain in use, the more Lightning cables will remain in circulation.
In the long run, the move to USB-C will be an improvement for iPhone owners. The change could mean that the latest iPads, Macs and eventually iPhones will come with a single cable – which is why the EU announced USB-C in the first place. The transition also comes at an ideal time considering iPhones are becoming less reliant on wired connections, thanks to improvements in wireless charging, the increased popularity of Bluetooth accessories and Apple’s new MagSafe connection system.
But transitions like this take time. And there are still many unanswered questions about how Apple will respond to the EU ruling. For example, we don’t know whether Apple will make the transition to USB-C in 2023 or if it will wait until 2024. We don’t know if Apple will use USB-C specifically for European iPhones or if it will happen. standard globally.
What seems clear, however, is that the arrival of the USB-C iPhone may be a step towards using one universal cable for everyone. But it will not be overnight.