Early in the iPhone 15 development process, Apple created a version that included a Lightning port, according to Apple leaker Unknownz21. In a tweet, Unknownz21 said that Apple tested the iPhone 15 with a Lightning port “very early” but that it was “quickly scrapped” in favor of a USB-C version.
iPhone 15 models equipped with USB-C instead of Lightning were in testing as early as January 2022, and all designs after March 2022 focus on the USB-C port.
Apple’s move to USB-C on the iPhone has been one of the most persistent rumors, and the company is expected to ditch the Lightning port for all four models coming this year. Both the Pro and Standard models will charge via USB-C instead of Lightning, a first for the iPhone.
A few details about USB-C on the iPhone 15: It’s been in testing since January 2022, and almost all designs since March 2022 have a USB-C port instead of lightning. There was a version with a Lightning port very early on, but it was quickly scrapped. – Unknownz21 🌈 (@uredditor) April 18, 2023
USB-C ports have been included in the Mac lineup since 2015 and the iPad line since 2018. All iPads Apple sells now feature a USB-C port, so the only iOS devices that still use Lightning are iPhones. Apple plans to move to USB-C for iPhone due to European regulations mandating a common charger for electronic devices.
A Lightning port isn’t allowed under those rules, so Apple had the option of only introducing USB-C in Europe and sticking to Lightning elsewhere, or using USB-C worldwide and eliminating Lightning entirely. USB-C across all Apple devices will make charging simpler because iPhones, iPads, and Macs will be able to share the same cable and power adapter.
Apple will eventually need to update its third-generation AirPods, AirPods Pro 2, AirPods Max, Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, Magic Keyboard, original Apple Pencil, and all devices that continue to charge with Lightning.
Apple may not need to rely on USB-C charging for long, since the company has been pushing MagSafe wireless charging. iPhones since the iPhone 12 have integrated “MagSafe,” and Apple may plan to add similar technology to future “iPad” models. There have been rumors that Apple’s ultimate goal is to have an iPhone without a port and completely screen, and with MagSafe and the upcoming launch of Qi2, that may be possible at some point. The Qi2 standard would allow for faster charging speeds similar to MagSafe and would serve as a more open alternative to “MagSafe”.
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