By now, we’ve all heard about the European Union’s new mandate that aims to get virtually all mobile devices to use USB-C by fall 2024. Of course, Android phone-makers would be pretty much unaffected by the new law since even budget Android phones nowadays are either already using USB-C or switching to the port anyway…
So, here are the top five reasons why (as of right now), I do not see the iPhone 15 adopting USB-C and why I expect iPhone 15 and/or iPhone 16 to move straight to being completely… portless.
Apple’s September event shows Apple isn’t ready to obey the EU: Five hints that iPhone 15 isn’t getting USB-C
AirPods Pro 2 hinting at a future MagSafe!
AirPods Pro 2 gains support for MagSafe and can now charge via the Apple Watch charger
You see, not too long ago, we saw leaked renders that showed the alleged AirPods 2 with a USB-C charging port. Of course, we now see this leak was far from accurate. What has Apple done instead? The company doubled down on MagSafe with AirPods Pro 2 as if to make a statement that “this is the future of Apple charging”!
The fact that Apple refuses to give the 2022 AirPods Pro a USB-C charging port is the biggest hint that Tim Cook & Co are planning for a future without USB-C on AirPods and iPhone – the only two Apple products that currently don’t USB-C charging support.
Think about it! If Apple was going to give iPhone 15 a USB-C port, why wouldn’t the company set the scene for “the big transition” by giving AirPods Pro 2 USB-C now? It looks like Apple will be releasing a new AirPods Pro every three years now (which is the time gap between the 1st and 2nd Gen AirPods Pro). This means that Cupertino’s next chance to switch the charging port on AirPods will be in 2025, which is a year after the EU’s USB-C mandate would’ve come into effect.
Apple removes the SIM card tray from the iPhone 14, so why not get rid of the charging port too?
No SIM card tray – no charging port?
The second hint from Apple’s recent event that screams “no USB-C on iPhone”, must be the fact that Cupertino was “courageous” enough once again! After dropping the headphone jack with iPhone 7, now Apple’s done the same with the SIM card tray on the iPhone 14 series (at least in the US).
Apple’s decision to do away with the SIM tray on iPhone 14 was met with mixed feelings from iPhone users in the US. Many have pointed out that traveling with your iPhone would now become more challenging. But did the potential backlash stop Cupertino from moving closer to a portless future? Not really! Apple wasn’t afraid to remove the SIM card tray from the iPhone 14, so why not get rid of the charging port too?
Apple doesn’t care about sueper-fast charging – iPhone 14 didn’t get the rumored faster-charging speeds
No fast-charging – no USB-C?
If you recall, shortly before Apple’s “Far Out” event, there were some rumors about a slight charging speed bump for the new iPhone 14 series. The rumors were wrong. But more importantly, Tim Cook & Co continues to demonstrate that entering the fast charging race isn’t one of Apple’s priorities.
Apple’s way or the highway – iPhone 14 Pro’s Dynamic Island is another reminder that Apple won’t play by the rules
Dynamic Island and not-so-dynamic charging.
This one’s a bit of a stretch, but wouldn’t you agree that a big part of Apple’s rascal behavior as a company is that it likes things to be done on its own terms and conditions? The iPhone 14 Pro’s Dynamic Island is just another reminder that Apple is stubborn and won’t adhere to any industry standards. It’s Apple’s way or the highway!
You see, if we accept that the iPhone’s moving towards a “full-screen” future, wouldn’t it be much easier and quicker for Apple to drop Face ID altogether; give iPhone 14 Pro an under-display fingerprint reader and a tiny punch-hole selfie camera in the middle – like a Galaxy S22, and call it a day (for now)?
But no! It appears that Apple has a clear vision of a future with Face ID on iPhone. Tim Cook & Co have a plan, and they follow it, and if that means the iPhone 14 Pro will have a huge pill-shaped cutout on its display instead of a tiny punch-hole, then it will. The Lightning – USB-C – Portless situation isn’t all too different. A clear vision of a future without…ports!
Apple (still) puts profits first and everything else second, and USB-C won’t be as profitable as MagSafe
USB-C = no profits.
The last but certainly not least important hint for “iPhone 15 without USB-C” is that… Apple is a business. In fact, a very successful one. One of the most successful (legal) businesses the world’s ever seen. OK, you get the point…See, Tim Cook & Co weren’t afraid to send EU & UK iPhone 14 prices through the roof in order to maintain and possibly increase their margins in the midst of the financial crisis. iPad and MacBook prices are also expected to shoot up this fall. Apple’s even increasing prices on old products like the iPhone SE!
So, knowing that Cupertino makes a good (or even a great) commission on all things/accessories Lightning and MagSafe, why would Californians give it all up for USB-C if they can keep making the same amount of money or even more if the iPhone was portless? It’s not what businesses do.
How will iPhone 15 charge, and how can Apple avoid the EU’s USB-C mandate: The EU’s USB-C law isn’t as scary as you might’ve thought!
The EU is giving Apple some wiggle room, which Cupertino will appreciate!
So, to make things clear, iPhones and AirPods sold in the EU will indeed be required to switch to using USB-C ports by the fall of 2024. It’s written in the law now. However! None of this means that switching to USB-C will be Apple’s only option for iPhone 15/iPhone 16.
For the record, the EU says that “as wireless technologies still need time to be developed, 24 months after the entry into force of the Directive, the EU Commission will ask European standardization bodies to develop a standard for wireless as well”.
In other words, the EU is planning to introduce wireless charging standards too – sooner or later. However, this wouldn’t interfere with Apple’s (supposed) plan for a portless iPhone with MagSafe charging, as all iPhones since 2017 support Qi wireless charging too, which is the current industry standard.
Alternative charging solutions for Apple’s iPhone 15 amid USB-C mandate
All that being said, a portless iPhone (technically) isn’t Apple’s only solution to the charging dilemma.
- Apple could technically ship the iPhone 15 with a USB-C port only in Europe and keep the Lightning – MagSafe combo in the rest of the world
- The other “solution,” at least as far as the iPhone 15 series is concerned, is that Apple can actually decide to do nothing! That’s because the EU’s mandate kicks in about a year after the iPhone 15’s release.
If Apple chooses to play the waiting game, it might be iPhone 16 that drops the port altogether (or gets USB-C, if my prediction is wrong). Either way, September 2023 is expected to be key for Apple and the iPhone’s charging situation, and I place my bets on… no ports!
What’s your guess? Is Apple going to follow the EU’s command, or are Tim Cook & Co going to pull another courageous move and give us a portless iPhone?