Apple executive Greg Joswiak has confirmed that in future the iPhone will indeed make the switch from Lightning to USB-C.
It’s been rumoured for some time that Apple’s smartphone line would emulate the iPad and ditch the company’s bespoke Lightning standard in favour of the universal USB-C standard.
This eventuality became even more likely this month, when the EU voted to enforce USB-C as the common charging standard for mobile devices by the end of 2024.
It’s that latter turn of events that appears to have forced Apple to concede. Speaking to The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern, Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Greg Joswiak said of the EU stipulation: “obviously we’ll have to comply, we have no choice”.
As you may have been able to pick up from that comment, Apple is complying grudgingly. The Apple line, according to Joswiak, is that the EU ruling will create more e-waste, as it will lead to potentially billions of obsolete Lightning cables.
Defending Apple’s Lightning standard, which offers significantly slower data transfer speeds compared to USB-C, Joswiak said that “for most iPhone customers, it’s primarily about charging”, before adding that “Lightning charges pretty well”.
Pushed on how soon we might see Apple switching to USB-C, Joswiak would only say that “the Europeans are the ones dictating timing for European customers”.
In other words, expect to see a Lightning-less iPhone hitting the market by 2024. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple will adopt USB-C wholesale, with persistent rumours of a portless iPhone that relies wholly on wireless charging.