Gurman: USB-C iPhone in 2023, followed by AirPods and Magic accessories by 2024

A USB-C iPhone “is essentially a lock” for 2023, claims Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, with AirPods and Magic accessories likely adopting USB-C by 2024.

A lifestyle image showing a top-down view of the 165W Satechi GaN charger connected to two iPhones, iPad Pro and MacBook Pro
Apple’s current charging strategy is a mess | Image credit: Satechi
  • What’s happening? Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman believes the iPhone will ditch Lightning and adopt USB-C in 2023, followed by accessories in 2024.
  • Why care? Because Apple’s charging strategy is a mess. A more elegant solution based on the USB-C standard and the USB Power Delivery protocol is needed.
  • What to do? With USB-C charging coming soon to all Apple products, it might be a good idea to check out different multi-port chargers, such as Ugreen’s 100-watt charger, that will replace all the chargers you use today.

USB-C iPhone in 2023, Apple accessories in 2024?

In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter on Bloomberg, reporter Mark Gurman lays out the case for an iPhone with USB-C instead of Lightning in 2023.

He says that the iPhone 15 is “essentially a lock” to get USB-C in the fall of 2023, beating a new mandate by the European Union by a year. As for the budget iPad (the $329 model), it will switch to USB-C by the end of this year, Gurman continues.

He also said he expects the AirPods and other Apple accessories, including its Magic-branded mouse, keyboard and trackpad, by 2024.

How the EU mandate works

The new European law will force manufacturers like Apple to use the USB-C standard to make chargers work with more devices than before, cut down on electronic waste and save consumers money.

If Gurman is right, all Apple devices will have transitioned from Lightning to USB-C by 2024. Now, the new European law states that the switch applies to “new devices” and Gurman explains what that means in practical terms.

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.

And what about Magic accessories?

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.

And this:

I’m expecting major Mac updates, including a new iMac and Mac Pro, next year. One could probably assume that move coincides with accessory updates. Given that Mac accessory changes are few and far between, I think it’s a safe bet that those accessories will move to USB-C in their next incarnation.

The law applies to specific device types: phones, tablets, cameras, headphones, headsets, electronic readers, keyboards, mice, mobile navigation systems, portable game consoles and speakers. As mentioned, those devices must switch to USB-C by the end of 2024 “for new products” sold within the European Union.

And since it’s virtually impossible to imagine Apple, the King of Simplicity, release two iPhone versions in 2015—one with USB-C charging for its EU customers and its Lightning counterpart for the rest of the world—a USB-C iPhone is truly inevitable.

As for laptops, the new law will extend to them in the spring of 2026. The only devices exempt from Europe’s new law are smartwatches and devices that don’t charge over a wired connection. Read: 13 solutions to fix AirPods case not charging