Apple set to finally ditch Lighting cable for USB-C in 2023 for iPhone, AirPods and more - reports

Apple set to finally ditch Lighting cable for USB-C in 2023 for iPhone, AirPods and more - reports

New Zealanders may need one less charger from next year if new rumours regarding Apple's switch to USB-C are confirmed.

Two well-respected tech analysts have said the US tech company is set to ditch its bespoke Lightning charger for the iPhone 15, due in late 2023.

USB-C has largely replaced Micro-USB as the standard for Android-based phones and other electronic devices over the last few years as the price of production has dropped.

While Lightning can support fast charging up to 20W, a USB-C cable can support fast charging up to 240W. It also allows faster data transfer - Lightning is limited to just 480 Mbps, while USB 3.1 offers up to 10Gbps, with the latest USB4 standard up to 40Gbps.

Both Mark Gurman, who writes the Apple-focused Power On newsletter for Bloomberg, and securities specialist Ming-Chi Kuo, have said the company is testing the near-ubiquitous phone charging standard ahead of the switch.

Kuo also suggested the company's other products which use the Lightning cable - including  the AirPods range, the Magic keyboard, trackpad and mouse - would also switch to "USB-C in the foreseeable future".

Apple is also developing an adaptor that would convert Lightning to USB-C, Gurman said.

The move would bring Apple into line with draft legislation in the European Union (EU), which would mandate a single standard for charging ports.

The EU has been talking about a single charging port for over a decade, and finally hopes to have an agreement in place by the end of 2022.

"A deal by the end of the year is doable. This is our ambition," lawmaker Alex Agius Saliba told Reuters earlier this year.

At the time, Kuo said Apple was likely to move straight to a portless iPhone so it didn't have to use USB-C, with concerns over water ingestion through the port one of the major concerns.

However, that has since changed.

"Portless iPhone may cause more problems due to current limitations of wireless technologies and the immature MagSafe ecosystem," Kuo tweeted.

Apple had previously claimed the push for a common charger would hurt innovation and create a mountain of electronic waste if consumers were forced to switch to new chargers.

Late last year the world's first USB-C iPhone, created by engineering student Ken Pillonel, sold on eBay for over $120,000.

Pillonel made his project open-source, allowing his work to be replicated, but the highly-technical nature of the modification - including fitting extra circuits into the phone - make it difficult to do on a wider scale.