This change is not just about keeping up with industry standards; it's a response to the European Union's regulation requiring smartphones to adopt USB-C by 2024. Greg Joswiak, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, acknowledged the company's need to comply with this regulation.
Boosted Charging Speeds
Beyond the port change, the iPhone 15 is expected to support faster charging speeds, potentially reaching up to 35W. This is a substantial increase from the iPhone 14 Pro's peak rate of 27W. Sources from 9to5Mac have shared that this enhancement could significantly reduce charging times, especially for the Pro Max model.
The USB-C port, often referred to as the universal charging standard, has been adopted by a myriad of devices, from laptops to Android phones. Its versatility extends to gadgets as diverse as headphones, drones, and even heated blankets. The shift to USB-C offers several advantages for consumers:
Interchangeability: iPhone users would no longer need to carry multiple cables for different devices, streamlining the charging process during travel.
Wider Compatibility: With the ubiquity of USB-C, iPhone users can easily borrow chargers from Android users or those with newer laptops. This also means institutions like schools and businesses can standardize their charging solutions.
New Premium Model and Battery Improvements
The upcoming iPhone 15 series is also expected to feature substantially larger batteries across all models, according to an alleged Foxconn insider. Battery capacity of the iPhone 15 series is rumored to see a considerable increase compared to the previous generation, with improvements ranging from 350-600mAh. Apple is also reportedly considering the release of a new premium iPhone to join the Pro and Pro Max models. According to insiders, the company is discussing the possibility of introducing this top-of-the-line device in 2024 at the earliest, potentially as part of the iPhone 16 lineup or later.
European Union's Push for Standardization
The European Union's regulation is grounded in both environmental and consumer-centric concerns. By standardizing the charging port, the EU aims to reduce electronic waste, estimating a potential reduction of 11,000 tons of e-waste annually. Additionally, the move could save Europeans up to 250 million euros each year on chargers.
However, Apple initially resisted this change. In a 2021 letter, the company expressed concerns that the regulation might stifle innovation in charging technologies and potentially confuse consumers. Apple emphasized the potential risks to safety and energy efficiency if a single connector type was mandated for all devices.
Samsung´s High-End Models are Charging with Up to 45W
While the iPhone 15's anticipated 35W charging is notable, it's essential to contextualize it within the broader industry. For instance, Samsung's Galaxy S23 Ultra supports charging up to 45W, enabling a full battery recharge in under an hour. Although the iPhone 15's charging might take slightly longer, it still represents a marked improvement from previous models.
USB-C's Varied Capabilities
It's worth noting that not all USB-C cables are created equal. Some support rapid data transfer, while others might be limited in this regard. In the early days of USB-C, there were instances of cables causing device damage due to misconfigurations, though such issues have become rarer. Some USB-C cables even support “Thunderbolt,” a high-speed data transfer standard, albeit at a higher cost.
While the shift to USB-C is significant, Apple continues to innovate in the charging space. The company has introduced proprietary charging solutions like MagSafe, which uses magnets to attach a charging puck to the iPhone's back. Furthermore, there's speculation in the industry that Apple might eventually aim to remove ports entirely from the iPhone, emphasizing wireless charging solutions.