Apple could retrofit the iPhone 14 with a USB-C port when the iPhone 15 launches
Apple’s September launch event for the iPhone 15 series is just over a month away according to the rumor mill. Pundits are also expecting Apple to switch from its venerable Lightning port to USB-C to comply with EU legislation forcing a common port standard for all smartphone OEMs. However, it also now seems possible that Apple will bring USB-C to a couple of iPhone 14 models too.
Details in the tvOS 17 beta code spotted by @aaron613 reveal six unreleased iPhone models, four of which have been identified as the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. The remaining two models have been identified as new iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus variants with the introduction of a USB-C port likely being the only differentiator to the existing iPhone 14/Plus models currently on sale.
While Apple often drops the previous generation’s Pro models when the new Pro series is introduced, but it typically keeps the entry models on sale as mid-range options. With the new EU legislation due to come into effect in 2024, it would mean that if Apple chooses to follow this model as it has in the past, it will need to upgrade the Lightning ports to USB-C to be able to continue selling them alongside its new iPhone 14 series.
Apple first introduced its Lightning port back in 2012, which was a widely supported change among Apple’s user base as it was more compact and reversible – something the previous 30-pin port lacked making it fiddly. However, since then, Apple has adopted USB-C across its MacBook line as well as its iPad range. Until the EU legislation was passed, Apple had shown no indication it was planning to switch to USB-C on its iPhones from the proprietary Lightning port thanks to its lucrative royalty driven MFi program.
The only question left now is whether the iPhone 15 Pro models will feature upgraded USB-C ports that also support the Thunderbolt connectivity standard used in Apple's Macs and the iPad Pro line.