As the European Parliament proceeds to put an end to Apple’s ‘over the top’ profiteering business practices by forcing the iPhone maker to adopt the USB-C standard by 2024, the company is said to transition some products to this port in the same year. According to the latest report, current-generation AirPods and some Mac accessories are said to make the switch in two years.
The iPhone 15 Is Said to Beat EU’s Mandate, With Future Accessories Shifting to USB-C as Well
Apple is prepared to make changes to its devices to use the widely adopted USB-C port, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in his latest Power On newsletter. Since the EU covers a large number of regions, it would be in Apple’s best interest to make a switch or risk having its devices banned from ever being sold.
Fortunately, the iPhone 15 is said to make the transition to USB-C before the EU’s mandated time limit. However, since the new law requires Apple devices to switch over to USB-C before the end of 2024, it means a future low-cost iPhone SE can still launch with the Lightning interface and would not be subjected to any sales ban in any country that is a part of the European Union.
Apple currently sells three AirPods models; the AirPods 3, AirPods Pro 2, and AirPods Max. Gurman claims that the next iterations of these wireless audio products, along with the Magic Trackpad and Magic Keyboard, are expected to switch to USB-C by 2024.
“The law states that the shift applies to new devices. So, let’s assume Apple rolls out an iPhone SE in March 2024 with Lightning and not USB-C. That wouldn’t make that device out of compliance in the EU because it launched before the end of 2024. It just would mean that the 2025 or 2026 model would require the change.
I don’t think Apple will take that long to bring USB-C to all of its devices, though. I’d bet the next versions of the regular AirPods, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max all move to USB-C, and that transition should be done by 2024.”
Ming-Chi Kuo, a TF International Securities analyst, believes that Apple will launch a USB-C charging case for some AirPods models in 2023 but did not mention the AirPods Pro 2, suggesting that the transition from Lightning may happen much sooner. Later this year, Apple is expected to launch the affordable iPad 10, and it may be the last tablet from the company to gravitate to USB-C, completing the transition, at least for this product category.
Over the next couple of years, we see Apple switching to this port completely, giving up any grip it has on its proprietary Lightning connector.