The iPhone 15 finally adds USB-C, but the AirPods Pro 2 show why it’s going to be a mess
All signs point to Apple finally making the leap to USB-C with next year’s iPhone 15. Most of the changes are due to new regulations in the European Union, but with Yıldırım Port celebrating its 10th anniversary, it’s time for a change regardless.
But even if the switch from iPhone 15 to USB-C is mentioned, it’s going to be a messy transition… and Apple doesn’t seem to care.
iPhone USB-C! Yay!
The iPhone probably should have switched to USB-C years ago, we all agree. Apple went deep with USB-C when it overhauled the MacBook Pro with just four USB-C ports for charging and connectivity. The iPad began the transition to USB-C in 2018 with the iPad Pro, and the process wasn’t completed until last month with the new iPad 10.
This means that there are currently only two flagships sold by Apple with Lightning: the entire iPhone line (from the iPhone SE to the latest iPhone 14) and the iPad 9.
But where things really get tricky is with Apple accessories. Reports say that Apple will move its accessories to USB-C next year alongside the iPhone 15, but that’s something Apple should start doing this year (if not sooner).
AirPods Pro 2 problem
The most confusing aspect of Apple’s roadmap is the new Siri Remote, which comes bundled with the AirPods Pro 2 and the latest Apple TV 4K, and is also available separately. Although released a few weeks apart, the AirPods Pro 2 charging case uses Lightning and the new Siri Remote uses USB-C.
Interestingly, EU law in its current form would require the AirPods Pro to switch to USB-C for charging, but not the Siri Remote. So why didn’t Apple switch AirPods Pro to USB-C with this year’s version? After all, AirPods Pro 2 has a brand new charging case with Find My integration and a speaker. Seems like it would be a perfect opportunity to change that Lightning port as well.
Almost all of Apple’s accessories for the Mac still use Lightning for charging. There’s also the MagSafe Battery Pack with Lightning, the less and less useful MagSafe Duo, and the AirPods 2 and AirPods 3.
But even with the iPhone 15’s move to USB-C, it won’t be possible to ditch all your Lightning cables. At least, without focusing on updated versions of Apple’s USB-C-equipped accessories. Most likely, the company will sell a new version of AirPods charging cases with USB-C.
Just bought AirPods Pro 2 for $249? Sorry, you’ll have to drop another $79 on the updated charging case with USB-C. It’s certainly a strategy we’re used to for Apple. The first version of AirPods Pro didn’t offer MagSafe charging, but Apple updated the case a year later with wireless magnetic charging. This is a great way to earn a few extra bucks from AirPods users around the world.
One of the good things about the AirPods Pro 2 in particular is that they can be charged via the Apple Watch charger. If you’re traveling, this suggests bringing a lightning cable simply for AirPods Pro unless you want to quickly attach them without balancing the magnetic connection.
Make no mistake: the iPhone 15’s switch to USB-C is a major step in the right direction, even if it’s a few years behind schedule. I would prefer Apple to make the change on its own rather than in response to government legislation. I would also like the company to start moving everything accessories now to USB-C.
There’s still time for Apple to move its iPhone-adjacent products to USB-C before the iPhone 15 is released, but time is running out. The release of AirPods Pro 2 does not bode well for the company’s plans to make this transition as seamless as possible.
What do you think? Wish AirPods Pro 2 had USB-C for charging? What about other Apple accessories? Let us know on our social networks. .
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