Apple’s next iPhone is likely to be equipped with USB-C charging, analysts said, after a European law on common chargers took a step closer to becoming reality.
On Tuesday, lawmakers in the European Parliament approved a law requiring electronics, including mobile phones, tablets and cameras sold in the European Union, to be equipped with a USB Type-C charging port by the end of 2024.
Apple currently uses its proprietary Lightning chargers which are different to USB-C. But that could change from the iPhone 15, the next version of its flagship smartphone.
“It is now inevitable that Apple will have to capitulate and transition to USB-C on the iPhone 15 when it arrives in 2023,” Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight, said in a note earlier this week.
“My thinking is that Apple has already moved to USB-C on MacBook and iPad Pro so the transition has started. iPhone 14 was quite iterative so iPhone 15 could be a bigger step in design. Therefore, it would be a good time to make the change,” Wood said in follow up comments to CNBC.
There are rumors that Apple is exploring USB-C for the iPhone 15, which is what the next device could be called if traditional naming convention continues.
In May, Bloomberg reported that Apple is testing future iPhone models with USB-C charging but those won’t come out until 2023 at the earliest.
Will iPhone 15 have USB-C charging globally?
If Apple does switch to USB-C next year, Bryan Ma, technology industry analyst at IDC, said the U.S. technology giant would make the change for iPhones globally, not just in the EU.
“Most likely it would make sense that they get the scale out of moving to this common charger globally rather than having to make individual parts, unless they think that they’re really making so much [money] off of those chargers and accessories and that sort of thing that it’s still worth it for them to maintain that separate,” Ma told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Wednesday.
“In their own house, they’re already getting ready and making preparations for the eventuality within a couple of years,” he added.
The change would bring Apple’s charging ports in line with competitors including Samsung which already use USB-C.
The EU law has been about 10 years in the making and looks set to potentially get a final stamp of approval this year.
Lawmakers argue different charging standards create waste and the law will mean consumers won’t need to buy a new charger every time they purchase a device.
“This is a victory for common sense. Although Apple has a huge installed base of lighting cable powered devices, the ubiquity of USB-C across all consumer electronics products means that harmonising on USB-C makes perfect sense,” Wood said.