iPhone 15 Will Probably Use USB-C, But with a Proprietary Catch
It's already been six months since the release of the iPhone 14, and rumors are swirling about the upcoming iPhone 15. Most notably, this is reportedly the iPhone that will finally use USB-C technology for its charging port, after years of proprietary Lightning cables.
Toward the end of 2022, it was reported that Apple might finally be forced to use USB-C after the European Union established new standards to limit electronic waste, meaning a cable made exclusively for iPhone, while most other smartphones all use USB-C, creates a needless excess of cables.
There's still a chance Apple could make a European-exclusive version with USB-C, but that doesn't seem to be the case, according to leaks from places like Mac Rumors, and Bloomberg, which are typically pretty on-the-money when it comes to these things. Given the fact that Apple already uses USB-C on its computers, this isn't a huge stretch.
Here's the real catch, though. Reports show that the iPhone 15's USB-C port will only support products with MFI (Made for iPhone) certification. Apple has held onto its proprietary charging capabilities while the rest of the tech world went for more universal options, so this does make sense. It also means that suppliers and distributors will still have to jump through some hoops to make chargers, rather than totally adopt a standard cable.
The iPhone 15 series will only support USB-C accessories certified by Apple through the Made for iPhone (MFi) program 😬
Non-certified cables will have limited data and charging speeds
— Apple Hub (@theapplehub) March 1, 2023
We did report earlier that Apple was going along with European regulators, but doing so "reluctantly." This seems like the end-result of that reluctance.
The other big change that comes with each iteration of the iPhone is that distributors need to start carrying the new cases. Most iPhone models these days look pretty similar to the last one, but with subtle changes. For example, the button placement is just different enough on the iPhone 14 to make iPhone 13 cases obsolete.
For the iPhone 15 Pro, reports indicate that it will be thinner with different curvature, so there will likely need to be special cases made for the new model, rather than being able to use the iPhone 14 case.
Exclusive：iPhone 15 Pro Max（or iPhone 15 Ultra），Rendering based on CAD.
Compared with 14ProMax,bezel is narrower，but thicker.
Titanium alloy middle frame with frosted process, Type-C ，No physical button design. pic.twitter.com/d4fLOeqWSu
— ICE UNIVERSE (@UniverseIce) February 25, 2023
Also, reports show that the display on the iPhone 15 could be 6.2", an ever-so-slight increase from the 6.1" on iPhone 14. It's nothing you could notice with the naked eye, but it's enough to make a smartphone case too small.
So, from a distributor standpoint, this is kind of a good thing. Smartphone cases and chargers are all the rage, so to create a situation where people come back for the latest version every year means repeat orders.
But, if you're looking for more evergreen solutions, the prevalence of wireless charging is still an attractive choice for smartphone promotions, and that doesn't change based on any redesign.