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iPhone 14 Pro tipped to kill Lightning for USB-C — here’s why

iPhone 13 Pro Max in grey, held in front of water
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

One of the most useful changes we’re hoping the iPhone 14 brings in is a USB-C port. Given so many of our everyday devices use USB-C, Apple’s smartphone is an outlier, doggedly holding onto a proprietary Lightning port for iPhone generation after generation, even though Apple has adopted USB-C for iPads and MacBooks. 

While the iPhone 13 is still very much a new phone, the iPhone 14 rumors have already started and a move to USB-C is one of the most prominent tips. Now leaker LeaksApplePro on iDropNews claims insider sources have tipped them off about an iPhone 14 Pro with a USB-C port. 

This is a tricky one to chew over; LeaksApplePro has a mixed record when it comes to leaks compared to other tech tipsters, and there have been conflicting rumors around the iPhone 14 going down the USB-C route. 

Relatively reliable leaker Jon Prosser claimed the iPhone 14 will stick with the Lighting port, though it could have a radical redesign, notably getting rid of the display notch and adopting Touch ID. 

But then again there have been rumors that the iPhone 14 might be completely portless, with Apple leaning heavily into the use of its MagSafe wireless charging. This seems a little too soon and farfetched in our opinion. So we suspect Apple will still have some form of port on its next phone, but the jury remains out on whether it’ll be Lightning or USB-C. 

Another interesting thing about LeaksApplePro’s tip is that only the iPhone 14 Pro series will come with USB-C, seemingly leaving out the standard iPhone 14. The justification from LeaksApplePro is that the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max would benefit from higher transfer speeds, especially since they would presumably support the ProRes video format. 

While there are enough differences between the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, they mostly involve the display and cameras; the iPhone 13 Pro gets a 120Hz display and a trio of rear cameras, which are arguably more ‘pro’ features. In contrast, we’d argue that ports are more practical than professional. And having an iPhone range with different connection types would seem confusing for customers and impractical for Apple’s production lines. 

As such, if Apple does indeed put a USB-C port on the iPhone 14, we suspect it’ll do it for all handsets in the range, not just the Pro models. And there’s movement in the tech industry to suggest that will be the case. 

That’s because the European Union has new legislation that aims to have tech makers adopt standardized charging on their devices to cut down on e-waste and customer frustration by 2024. USB-C would be the logical port to go for. And with Apple championing environmentally-friendly production and recycling, as well as having a large European customer base, there's a good chance it would adopt USB-C charging sooner than later to get ahead of the EU legislation. 

This is speculation on our part as Apple doesn't comment on the devices it’s working on. But applying logic to the claimed leaks and other rumors, it looks like the iPhone 14 could be the first iPhone to move away from the Lightning port. 

iPhone 14 could support Wi-Fi 6E ready for VR and AR

iPhone 14 concept renders

(Image credit: Front Page Tech | Renders by Ian)

USB-C charging isn’t the only iPhone 14 rumor doing the rounds. The latest note from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as seen by MacRumors, says the next iPhone will support Wi-Fi 6E

This isn’t the first time Kuo has made this claim, but it reinforces the rumors that the iPhone 14 will have wireless connections that allow for high-speed connections. 

A faster Wi-Fi connection might not seem that exciting, given we’ve had no problems with Wi-Fi speed on the current iPhones. But the interesting part here is that Wi-Fi 6E will supposedly provide the speedy wireless transmission needed to work well with augmented and virtual reality experiences.

And with Apple reportedly working on a AR and VR headset, as well as the Apple Glasses smart glasses, we could see an iPhone 14 with Wi-Fi 6E work in tandem with mixed reality devices. 

With all the above taken into account, the iPhone 14 could come with a new design, new capabilities and possibly up to 2TB of storage, hopefully ticking off the upgrades we want to see from the iPhone 14

We’ll have to wait a while before we see the iPhone 14 make its official debut, likely in September 2022. But if these rumors come to fruition, then skipping the iPhone 13 for the iPhone 14 might end up being a smart move. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer is U.K. Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.