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AirPods and Apple accessories tipped to finally ditch Lightning for USB-C in 2023

The Apple AirPods 3 connected to a Lightning charging cable
(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

A recent report from Bloomberg (opens in new tab) claimed that the iPhone is set to ditch the Lightning port for a USB-C connection in 2023. Now, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has tweeted (opens in new tab) that the Apple Airpods and other Apple accessories will join the iPhone in switching to USB-C ports next year. 

Kuo claims the accessories that will switch to USB-C include those for Mac machines, like the Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse, and the MagSafe battery pack for compatible iPhones.

Kuo also mentions that the switch could happen in the “foreseeable future.” And we might see it happen next year, following the iPhone timeline.

This could potentially mean Apple is gearing up for an overhaul in streamlining and finally adopting a universal charging standard across all its products and accessories. 

Apple already uses USB-C ports for charging its laptops and nearly all of the iPad lineup. But it continues to ship lightning ports on its iPhones, AirPods and AirPods Pro, and a suite of accessories. That means someone is someone buys into the Apple ecosystem right now, they cannot get away with carrying just one charger.

The complete move to USB-C ports will definitely help resolve that hassle, especially while travelling. Being able to charge a range devices from a single USB-C charger is a convenience a lot of Android users have been enjoying already. So having the same for across iPhone, AirPods, Macbooks and iPads would be a boon for Apple users. 

A complete move to USB-C ports will definitely help resolve that hassle, especially while travelling. Being able to charge a range devices from a single USB-C charger is a convenience a lot of Android users have been enjoying already. So hav the same for across iPhone, AirPods, Macbooks and iPads would be a boon for Apple users. 

Pressure from Europe regulators could be behind Apple's future shift to USB-C, as the EU has been pushing companies to make USB-C a standard on portable devices. 

Apple definitely seems set to roll out the USB-C charging to all its devices in the near future, leaving behind the Lightning port. The Lightning port was launched with the iPhone 5 in 2012 and Apple had then announced it would be Apple’s charging standard for “the next decade.”

USB-C could mark a big shift in charging standard, not just for all of Apple but for the whole phone industry, to have a standardized charging port.

When should we expect a USB-C iPhone? 

iPhone 14 Pro in white back and front

(Image credit: The Hacker 34)

While the iPhone 14 was tipped to initially be port-less, it was more recently rumored to get a USB-C connection. This now doesn't look to be the case, unless Apple decided to add USB-C to the iPhone 14 Pro models. 

Addressing the the port-less rumor, Kuo said the it would “cause more problems due to current limitations of wireless technologies & the immature MagSafe ecosystem.” As such, it looks like Apple will move to USB-C next year with what would probably be the iPhone 15, then look to move to a fully wireless system when MagSafe charging reaches wider use.  

We're rather hoping that Kuo and others are wrong and that Apple does adopt USB-C with the iPhone 14 otherwise it might put a few people off, given the limitations of Lightning. But Apple is likely to be someway into the designing of the iPhone 14 range by now, with it reportedly gearing up for production. So a change in design or port selection may be wishful thinking. 

With that in mind, an iPhone with USB-C seems most likely to now arrive in 2023. 

Sanjana loves all things tech. From the latest phones, to quirky gadgets and the best deals, she's in sync with it all. Based in Atlanta, she is the news editor at Tom's Guide. Previously, she produced India's top technology show for NDTV and has been a tech news reporter on TV. Outside work, you can find her on a tennis court or sipping her favorite latte in instagrammable coffee shops in the city. Her work has appeared on NDTV Gadgets 360 and CNBC.

  • qwertyuiop132435
    Good content but really poorly written, with so many mistakes it’s like the article wasn’t even proof read once. Duplicated words, words clearly missing, even an entire repeated paragraph…
    Reply