Apple formally announced on Tuesday that it will stop using its proprietary Lightning cable in favor of the more widely used USB-C port.
The switch will be implemented in the new iPhone 15 models, which were unveiled during Tuesday’s annual Apple keynote event. The Lightning cable was initially introduced exactly 11 years prior to the announcement.
It was omnipresent across all of Apple’s portable devices and, for Apple fans, the One Connector Rule Them All. Yes, it charged our iPhones and iPads, but the connector was also used in many other small accessories, including keyboards, AirPods, the Apple Pen, and many others. With its small dimensions and widespread availability (everyone had one or two Apple chargers lying around), it became a friend to billions of devices.
But as devices became more power-hungry, Apple came to the conclusion that USB-C might be the better choice. The iPad Pro models made the switch to USB-C as early as 2018. The iPad Air followed suit in 2020, and the 10th-generation iPad did the same in 2022. With a USB-C port as well, Apple’s remote for the Apple TV 4K became the next sign that Lightning was approaching its end.
EU’s USB-C Mandate Sparks the End of the Lightning Connector Era
The EU had had enough of the e-waste and complications of using too many different chargers, which was one of the main reasons why it seemed like the entire world was going to USB-C. In 2022, the European Parliament overwhelmingly decided that all It would be necessary voted for all devices to have a USB type-C port, including (phones, tablets, cameras, headphones, headsets, gaming consoles, portable speakers, earbuds, and laptops up to 100 W of power delivery).
“USB-C has become a universally accepted standard, so we’re bringing USB-C to iPhone 15,” an Apple representative announced in a recorded video at the event.
“It enables charging, transferring data, playing audio and video, and it’s been built into Apple products for years,” she continued.
The Cupertino-based organization announced today, in conjunction with the release of the iPhone 15, that the Lightning connector would be phased out after 11 years.
Personally, I think it’s really pathetic that Apple didn’t take the reins several iPhone generations ago (pun totally intended). It seems that Apple was hoping to be able to wait it out before it ever so courageously (ahem) ditched all connectors on the phone in favor of full wireless everything. The writing has been on the wall for Lightning for a very long time. The ability to simply plug in and forget about it turns out to be quite beneficial while you’re out and about, even with strong magnets binding your wireless charger to the back of your device.