The charging interface for smartphones has been gradually standardized, with three main types: Micro-USB, USB Type-C and Lightning. Type-C is undoubtedly the interface with the best comprehensive performance and the most widely used charging interface.
Micro-USB is now only used on entry-level smartphones and some basic smart home devices. Although Lightning’s function and versatility are not as good as Type-C’s, this interface is exclusively owned by Apple. Apple has a dominant position in the mobile phone industry and has not abandoned Lightning, so there are still many devices that use this interface.
However, Lightning’s situation has not been ideal in recent years, and it is no longer news that countries require Apple devices to use the Type-C interface. In June of this year, the European Parliament and the European Council unanimously agreed that all mobile devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, and wireless headsets, must uniformly use the Type-C interface in the EU starting in 2024.
The Type-C interface was developed by the USB-IF Association, which is led by Intel and Apple and involves many companies from various industries, including AMD and Google. Apple has always been involved in the research and development and improvement of Type-C technology. So why did Apple hesitate to abandon the Lightning interface and use the Type-C interface?
All Lightning interface cables must pass Apple’s MFi certification to charge iPhone or iPad normally. Otherwise, the power is only 5V1A and a pop-up window of the system will appear to remind you to close it manually to continue charging.
MFi certification allows Apple, even if the company does not make its own charging cable, to collect high certification fees from third-party manufacturers, which simply means more money. The switch to the C-port charging cable is different. Whether A to C or C to C, as long as it complies with USB-IF’s rules, it can charge Apple devices like the MacBook and iPad Pro without MFi certification.
In short, after Apple is forced to use the Type-C interface, there will likely be one less revenue stream. However, Apple’s insistence on using the Lightning interface is at odds with the company’s philosophy. As we all know, Apple has been a strong advocate of environmental protection in recent years, even eliminating the included charger for (they claim) environmental reasons.
When the iPhone uses the Lightning interface, it has to be equipped with an additional data cable, which is obviously not in line with Apple’s environmental protection concept. With the exception of the iPhone, the most expensive digital devices are basically equipped with Type-C interfaces nowadays. Almost everyone has Type-C data cables. When the iPhone is replaced with a Type-C interface, you can take the opportunity to eliminate the extra charging cable, which is obviously more environmentally friendly. Apple has already eliminated the charger before, and consumers have accepted this situation. After replacing the Type-C interface and eliminating the extra charging cable, chances are that consumers will not object too much.
Consumers have been very supportive of replacing the iPhone with a Type-C port. So when will the first iPhone with a Type-C port appear? The EU mandates that all devices sold must be replaced with Type-C interfaces in 2024. So Apple’s first iPhone with Type-C has to be launched before 2024, otherwise, there will be a vacuum period where iPhones cannot be sold in the EU.
Apple is testing an iPhone with a Type-C interface, which is expected to launch with the iPhone 15 in 2023. Apple could launch some Type-C iPhones next year to test the waters and switch to it completely in 2024.
Starting with the iPhone 14 series, Apple will launch four versions: Standard version, Max, Pro and Pro Max. It is normal to replace one or two versions with Type-C interfaces, which can ensure the implementation of the new EU regulations.
For users who are planning to buy iPhone 14 series, it is time to consider whether to buy iPhone 14 series or wait for iPhone 15 series with Type-C interface.