You don't need to really have your finger on the pulse of the inner workings of the smartphone market to know that Apple is getting ready to announce new iPhones. The iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max are all expected to arrive at Apple's September 12 event. And they're all likely to ditch Lightning in favor of the more universal USB-C.
And they probably won't be alone. A recent report by the well-connected Mark Gurman of Bloomberg fame claims that Apple will also announce new USB-C-endowed AirPods at that same event, although he stopped short of telling us exactly which AirPods.
The move makes plenty of sense considering the looming 2024 deadline imposed by the European Union. That deadline requires phones, as well as accessories like earbuds and headphones, to use a common charger – USB-C to be specific.
This means that Apple also has to consider the rest of its lineup, including Mac accessories. And the clock is ticking.
New Mac accessories to go with your iPhone?
With USB-C very much being the buzzword surrounding the September Apple event, I have to wonder if we will see more than just AirPods and iPhones making the move away from Apple's beloved Lightning.
Lightning has, of course, been around for a decade or so at this point, and it's probably the most ubiquitous connector that isn't USB-C. But that won't be enough to save it, and Apple is surely well aware that it has a few hundred stores worldwide that are full of accessories with Lightning holes on them.
Many of those are easy to forget, too. There's the Magic Mouse, the Magic Trackpad, and the Magic Keyboard for starters, all of which continue to ship with the 24-inch iMac – though you can also purchase them separately.
Apple will have to replace these accessories before it gets into trouble, although I imagine that switching out a port can't be all that taxing for its engineers. Maybe now is the time to give some of these things a makeover as well – can we get a Magic Mouse that doesn't need to be beached on its back to charge, perhaps?
I'm calling you out, Apple. It's time.
It isn't just Mac accessories, either. The popular MagSafe Battery Pack has a Lightning hole on the bottom — that'll have to go.
Apple already started to clear the decks when it updated the Siri Remote with USB-C last year, and it's probably fair to say that a lot of us forgot that even had a Lightning port to begin with. So now it's time to sort out the rest of the lineup, Apple.
Signs does point to Apple being on top of it, however. Recent supposed leaks of iPhone 15 charging cables show multi-colored and braided USB-C cables that I posit might actually be for the rumored M3 iMac refresh. Apple is expected to hold an October event to announce new M3-powered Macs, remember?
Maybe Apple hasn't forgotten about its accessories after all.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back.