iPhone 15 USB-C port now looks confirmed — here's why

iPhone 15 Pro Max
(Image credit: Ice Universe / Twitter)

There's been plenty of reports and rumors that Apple is ditching the Lightning port for USB-C  on the new iPhone 15. And this could be one more sign that it's really happening. 

According to the leaker ShrimpApplePro on Twitter (via MacRumors), Apple's "USB-C MFi cables and Earpods are in mass production." MFi stands for Made for iPhone, and we've seen numerous reports previously that Apple was going to leverage its MFi program to certify compatible USB-C cables and accessories for the new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro series. 

Apple reportedly plans to embrace USB-C for the iPhone 15 ahead of a European Union deadline before the end of 2024 for all smartphone makers to embrace the standard on their devices. Apple has already confirmed that it will be offering USB-C on the iPhone, but it did not specify which model. 

Apple allegedly ramping up production of compatible USB-C cables and accessories for the iPhone 15 is a surefire sign that we won't have to wait another year for the move away from Lightning.

The USB-C bad news

While it's good news that Apple is adopting an important feature the best Android phones have had for ages, there's also bad news. It's possible that Apple could reserve faster charging speeds and /or transfer speeds for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

There's another rumor that Apple will require iPhone 15 series USB-C accessories to get the MFi badge of approval. MFi certification means accessories are guaranteed to work properly with Apple's phones; it also enables Apple to collect a licensing fee on those accessories. 

However, Alex Agius Saliba, a European Parliament member from Malta, said in a speech not long ago that Apple's alleged plans to offer different tiers of charging speeds would be a “direct violation of the law." We'll have to see if Apple attempts to sidestep this warning or just plows ahead with its plans. 

As for the other possible proof that Apple is making iPhone 15 models with USB-C ports, mass producing EarPods sounds realistic at this stage. Apple may no longer include EarPods in the box, but they're very affordable at $19, compared to $159 for the AirPods 3rd gen. It will be interesting to see if Apple decides to charge a bit more for the USB-C version, but we hope not.

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro 

Other iPhone 15 rumors include a Dynamic Island for all models, which would replace the notch, more rounded corners, frosted glass on the back and improved cameras and performance.

However, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max seem much more exciting based on the leaks so far. In addition to possibly offering faster USB-C performance, the iPhone 15 Pro series is tipped to offer a faster A17 Bionic processor, titanium alloy sides (which are tougher yet lighter than aluminum) and the same always-on display as the iPhone 14 Pro series with 120Hz refresh rate.

But the iPhone 15 Pro Max could be the star of the show this fall with a periscope zoom that offers up to 6x optical zoom. So Apple could have a stronger competitor to the Galaxy S23 Ultra in more ways than one. 

Keep it locked to our iPhone 15 rumors page for all the latest leaks, and check out our WWDC 2023 preview for all the biggest news we expect out of Apple in early June, including iOS 17 and Apple's VR/AR headset

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Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.