With news that the European Parliament has voted in favor of a new rule requiring all new phones and smaller electronics that use a cable for charging to be equipped with a USB-C port, Apple has a few big decisions to make to meet. The change only applies to products sold in Europe, but it will likely affect Apple’s worldwide product line.
While Apple has switched to USB-C on the Mac and most of its iPads, several products still use the proprietary Lightning port introduced with the iPhone 5 in 2012, including the iPhone 14. Here are 10 devices that need to make the switch as soon as Apple updates them:
Last updated: September 2022 (iPhone 14)
The iPhone 14 is probably the last model with a Lightning port. While the next iPhone comes in under the 2024 deadline imposed by the European Union, rumors suggest that Apple will switch to USB-C with the iPhone 15. Not only will it bring universal charging with your MacBook and iPad, but USB-C also opens the door to faster data transfers, which will be a welcome new feature now that the iPhone 14 Pro can take 48MP ProRAW images.
Last updated: September 2021 (9th generation)
Rumors are swirling that Apple won’t even wait until 2023 to update its last remaining Lightning-based iPad to USB-C. The update to the entry-level model is likely to arrive in October with a new rumored slimmer-bezel design and a larger display.
AirPods/AirPods Pro charging case
Last updated: March 2022 (3rd generation)/September 2022 (2nd generation)
While the AirPods and AirPods Pro cases incorporated MagSafe charging last year, they still use Lightning to charge with a cable, though they have plenty of room for a USB-C port at the bottom of the case. Apple only recently has both AirPods models, so they are unlikely to receive another update before 2025, but it is very possible that Apple will quietly launch a new case with USB-C for the existing models along with the iPhone 15.
Last updated: December 2020 (1st generation)
When Apple introduced the AirPods Max in December 2020, they didn’t have a charging case. Instead, Apple included a Lightning cable on the side for charging (or wired listening via the optional Lightning to 3.5mm audio cable). If Apple updates the AirPods Max in 2023 with an H2 chip for Adaptive Transparency or introduces new colors, the Lightning port will almost certainly switch to USB-C.
Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad, Magic Mouse
Last updated: March 2022 (new colors)
Apple hasn’t changed the design of its trio of Mac accessories in nearly a decade, but it does introduce new colors somewhat regularly. In 2021, all three accessories – the Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse – got new colors to match the new 24-inch iMac, while the Magic Keyboard received a Touch ID sensor. So earlier this year, Apple began offering black versions of the accessory alongside the Mac Studio and Studio Display. While we don’t expect Apple to surprise us with a Magic Mouse that charges properly (meaning you don’t have to turn it over to plug in the charger), if Apple updates the iMac with an M3 processor next year, as rumored must also update accessories with USB-C ports.
Last updated: September 2016 (1st generation)
Apple started bundling EarPods with a Lightning connector with iPhones back when it removed the headphone jack from the iPhone 7. These days, you’ll have to buy them separately for $19 if you want a pair, but we’re guessing they’ll will be phased out when Apple switches the iPhone to USB-C.
Last updated: June 2020 (new colors)
While most of Apple’s Beats products use USB-C or micro-USB for charging, there is one — the PowerBeats Pro — that still uses a Lightning-to-USB-C cable for charging. The next time Apple releases new colors or updates the PowerBeats Pro, that will change.