Lightning Connector Turns 10 Today as iPhone Rumored to Adopt USB-C Next Year
Today marks 10 years since Apple introduced the iPhone 5 with an all-new Lightning connector, which replaced the previous 30-pin dock connector that originated on the iPod. Apple's former marketing chief Phil Schiller described Lightning as a "modern connector for the next decade," and this milestone has now been achieved.
iPhone 14 models remain equipped with a Lightning connector, but Apple is widely expected to switch to USB-C for iPhone 15 models next year.
Apple already offers USB-C ports on every Mac and nearly every iPad that it sells, along with the Studio Display, Pro Display XDR, some Beats headphones, and a few other accessories. Rumors suggest the upcoming 10th-generation entry-level iPad will also adopt USB-C, followed by AirPods charging cases and the MagSafe Battery Pack next year.
In June, the European Union announced that it reached an agreement to introduce a new law that would make USB-C the common charging port across all new smartphones, tablets, headphones, and many other electronics by fall 2024. iPhone 15 models are expected to launch around September 2023, ahead of the European Union's deadline.
While the Lightning cable was the first reversible charging cable, USB-C has become a very popular charging standard across a countless number of devices. A major benefit of USB-C for the iPhone would be faster data transfer speeds, as Lightning on the iPhone 13 and earlier tops out at 480 Mbps, while USB-C can achieve up to 5 to 10 Gbps depending on the spec, or even up to 40 Gbps if the iPhone supported Thunderbolt 3.