Customers try new iPhones at an Apple Store as the iPhone 14 series goes on sale on September 16, 2022 in Shanghai, China.
VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images
Apple’s next iPhone will likely come with USB-C charging, analysts said, after a European law on regular chargers came one step closer to becoming a 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 own Lightning chargers that are different from USB-C. But that could change from the iPhone 15, the next version of its flagship smartphone.
“It’s now inevitable that Apple will have to capitulate and move 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.
“I think Apple has already moved to USB-C on MacBook and iPad Pro, so the transition has started. iPhone 14 was pretty iterative, so iPhone 15 could be a bigger step in design. So now would be a good time about the change,” Wood said in follow-up comments to CNBC.
There are rumors that Apple is exploring USB-C for the iPhone 15, which could be called the next device if the traditional naming convention continues.
In May, Bloomberg reported that Apple is testing future iPhone models with USB-C charging, but they won’t be released until 2023 at the earliest.
Will iPhone 15 charge globally via USB-C?
If Apple switches to USB-C next year, Bryan Ma, a technology industry analyst at IDC, said the US tech giant would make the change for iPhones worldwide, not just in the EU.
“Most likely, it would make sense for them to make it to the scale to go global to this regular charger instead of having to make individual parts unless they think they really make that much [money] from those chargers and accessories and things like that that it’s still worth keeping that separate,” Ma told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Wednesday.
“In their own homes they are already getting ready and preparing for the eventuality in a few years,” he added.
The change would bring Apple’s charging ports in line with competitors, including Samsung, who already use USB-C.
The EU law is about 10 years in the making and it looks like it may get final approval this year.
Lawmakers argue that different charging standards create waste, and the law means consumers don’t have to buy a new charger every time they buy a device.
“This is a win for sanity. While Apple has a huge number of lighting-cable devices installed, the ubiquity of USB-C in all consumer electronics products means harmonizing over USB-C makes perfect sense,” Wood said.