According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, all three AirPods models and Mac accessories, like the Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad, are likely to transition to USB-C by 2024.
Earlier this week, the European Parliament approved a new directive to force manufacturers to offer USB-C as a common charging port across a wide range of European devices by the end of 2024. In his latest “Power On” newsletter, Gurman said that Apple has been preparing to make changes to its devices to meet these new legal requirements.
Gurman believes that Apple will beat the legislation's date of application in late 2024 with most of its products. The iPhone 15, he claims, will beat the EU's mandate by a year, featuring a USB-C port in the fall of 2023. The entry-level iPad, the only iPad still featuring a Lightning connector, should switch to USB-C by the end of this year.
Gurman speculated that if Apple releases a new iPhone SE model in March 2024 with a Lightning port instead of a USB-C port, it will comply with EU law since it would launch before the end of the year – but any new iPhone SE model released in 2025 or 2026 would need to feature USB-C.
Gurman noted that all AirPods models, as well as the Magic Mouse, Magic Keyboard, and Magic Trackpad, will need to make the switch when new versions are released. He anticipates several major Mac updates next year, including a new iMac and a Mac Pro, and said that “one could probably assume that move coincides with accessory updates.”
Despite the switch to USB-C across Apple's family of products, Gurman said that he thinks the USB-C era will be far shorter than the tenure of the 30-pin iPod connector or Lightning, “at least for Apple's mobile devices.” The iPod connector and Lightning will have been on new Apple devices for around 11 years each before they were phased out, and Gurman still believes that “Apple's future is wireless and that some version of the cancelled AirPower dream from 2017 will still eventually come to fruition – well before a decade from now.”
He added that “at some point in the next few years,” Apple will probably begin transitioning entirely to inductive charging on the iPhone and the iPad, a move that largely exempts the devices from EU law mandating the inclusion of a USB-C port.
Bob Thompson is our inhouse Home and Garden, Energy and Gaming news writer. Bob is keenly aware of the need to recycle. Bob has written for many online publications over the course of his writing career, before joining our team.