Whereas subsequent week’s iPhone 15 debut is anticipated to mark a major step in Apple’s transition to USB-C, the corporate nonetheless has a couple of free ends that it might want to tie up earlier than we will say goodbye to Lightning for good.
In spite of everything, Apple has been dedicated to its Lightning port for over a decade. In truth, Apple was so desperate to make the transfer to Lightning in 2012 that it discontinued its third-generation iPad after solely six months in the marketplace, releasing a fourth-generation Lightning-equipped mannequin alongside the iPhone 5.
From that time on, Apple started utilizing the Lightning port practically all over the place, from the iPhone and iPad to Mac equipment just like the Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse. When the unique AirPods got here alongside in 2016, they naturally featured a Lightning port for charging, and that’s been the case ever since, whilst Apple’s earbuds have shifted to MagSafe wi-fi charging. Even the premium AirPods Max use a Lightning port, not just for charging but additionally to get wired audio enter.
Whereas we now have good cause to consider that AirPods will swap to USB-C subsequent week, it’s much less clear what Apple intends to do with all of its different equipment that sport Lightning ports for charging. Whereas analysts have predicted Apple will probably be all-in on USB-C by subsequent 12 months, it’s by no means been clear whether or not it plans to launch new equipment solely to make the swap or if it would simply improve these extra organically as new merchandise are launched.
Maybe it would find yourself being a mixture of each. As an example, whereas the usual AirPods are due for an replace, reviews counsel that the AirPods Professional will merely be repackaged with a USB-C charging case, just like what Apple did with the MagSafe case in 2021.
Equally, equipment like Mac keyboards, mice, and trackpads aren’t more likely to want updates anytime within the close to future, and the identical might be stated for Apple’s MagSafe Battery Pack. Therefore, Apple is likelier to present these a minor refresh simply to modify the port to USB-C for consistency.
Apple’s MagSafe Duo Charger is a extra vital query mark. Since that additionally makes use of a Lightning port for energy, it must make the swap, however it additionally presently lacks quick charging for the Apple Watch Collection 7 and later. Solely Apple is aware of how effectively that notably pricy accent has offered, however it speaks volumes that it hasn’t been up to date in any respect within the two years since Apple launched quick charging to its wearables.
So, we predict Apple may go both method on this one — use the chance so as to add quick Apple Watch charging with the swap to USB-C or quietly depart it to die on the desk till it’s ultimately discontinued.
When Are New Apple USB-C Equipment Coming?
We are able to just about rely on the truth that Apple will announce the iPhone 15 lineup at its “Wonderlust” occasion subsequent Tuesday, September 12. If the corporate follows custom, the brand new iPhone fashions will go up for pre-order on Friday, September 15, and have them touchdown in shops the next Friday, September 22.
Nonetheless, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman lately shared some inside data that employees at most Apple retail shops will probably be pulling all-nighters on September 12 to get able to open up the day after the occasion. Whereas Gurman notes that they may simply be “rapidly placing up new advertising and marketing supplies,” he additionally means that some new merchandise might even see “near-immediate availability” after Apple’s bulletins.
Nonetheless, we wouldn’t suggest getting your hopes up that the iPhone 15 will probably be in shops subsequent Wednesday. Whereas Apple isn’t required to stay to its previous launch cycles, it’s value noting that it’s solely deviated from it as soon as in 13 years of fall iPhone releases. That was in 2015 when the iPhone 6s arrived two weeks after preorders opened as an alternative of 1. This was additionally the one 12 months that preorders opened on a Saturday, more likely to keep away from having the brand new iPhones go on sale on September 11.
Each different 12 months — even in 2011 and 2020, when Apple delayed its occasion till October — the primary iPhone fashions have at all times been up for preorder the Friday after Apple’s iPhone occasion and in shops (and arriving in clients’ arms) the Friday after that.
Nonetheless, whereas it’s unlikely any new iPhone or Apple Watch fashions will present up in Apple Shops that rapidly, there’s a great probability Apple may have a brand new USB-C accent lineup able to go instantly, as there’d be much less cause to delay these merchandise — particularly in the event that they’re merely a change to the port.
That might seemingly embody the USB-C AirPods Professional and even perhaps a brand new set of fourth-generation AirPods. Nonetheless, Apple may make a wholesale swap to USB-C in a single day, eradicating the final vestiges of Lightning equipment from its shops in favor of USB-C Magic Keyboards, trackpads, mice, and extra. Even the Lightning cables may find yourself occurring a again shelf, though Apple will nonetheless have to maintain promoting these for some time to accommodate years of Lightning-equipped iPhones and iPads.
There’s additionally the query of two mysterious iPhone fashions that appeared in beta code final month. Whereas it’s under no circumstances clear, these may symbolize USB-C variations of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. Whereas Apple will seemingly discontinue the iPhone 14 Professional fashions after the iPhone 15 Professional and iPhone 15 Professional Max arrive, the usual iPhone 14 is anticipated to maneuver down into the spot presently occupied by the iPhone 13. It is going to additionally seemingly proceed to be offered effectively into 2025, so Apple could wish to get forward of the sport to make sure it’s in full compliance with new European rules and to place USB-C as the brand new actuality.
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]