iPhone 14 will be the last to miss USB-C, according to a controversial report

The iPhone 13 Pro with its Lightning Port
(Image credit: TechRadar)

One of the most demanded iPhone 14 features is for Apple to abandon its proprietary Lightning Port in favor of the industry-standard USB-C (though Lightning certainly has its fans too). And maybe this demand isn't as outlandish as we'd previously heard.

Prolific analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who frequently makes accurate Apple predictions, has said that the iPhone 15 could make the move from Lightning to USB-C, marking a historic change to Apple's habits. The brand has previously stuck to its own ports instead of conforming to what everyone else does.

This would make the iPhone 14 the last smartphone from Apple to use Lightning (unless the iPhone SE 4 gets it, though for reasons we'll get to, that could be unlikely).

See more

The benefit of USB-C is that it supports faster charging and data transfer - plus, since it's the industry standard, it means you can use the same charger for all your devices, saving e-waste. Apple already supports USB-C for some devices, including most iPads, but not iPhones.

Apple has been sticking with Lightning for a few reasons, though many naysayers suggest it's because, as a proprietary connector, Apple gets lots of money through people being strongly encouraged to buy its own cables.

Various regulatory bodies around the world, including the EU, have been pushing Apple to take up USB-C, to avoid e-waste and stop the company's anti-competitive stance on accessories - but lots of leakers have suggested Apple will go a different way.

Analysis: so, not portless?

Lots of leakers have suggested that Apple will go portless instead of embracing USB-C - that is, it'll make its phones reliant on wireless powering and data transfer, a possibility that its MagSafe magnetic accessories make a lot more feasible.

In fact, we've previously heard that Apple was staunchly against a USB-C iPhone. This is something Kuo themselves previously stated, and we've also heard it from other big 'Apple leak' names like Jon Prosser.

So Kuo's new piece of analysis is quite controversial, as it goes against conventional thinking for Apple's iPhones. It's a move that'll please as many fans as it annoys though.

The word was that Apple will jump straight to making a portless iPhone but we've actually been hearing that for years now - since at least the iPhone 12 - and it's still yet to pass.

Maybe Apple realized that we're not in a wire-free world just yet, and it can't postpone the end of the Lightning storm forever. Or maybe EU pressure made a USB-C-less phone of any kind, even one without a Lightning port, seem too risky.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.