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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Next iPhone to adopt USB-C ahead of Europe’s switch

Apple is expected to unveil its latest iPhone lineup on Tuesday, featuring improved performance and a shift to a universal charger, which will soon be mandatory in Europe. At a “Wonderlust” event at its Silicon Valley headquarters, Apple has kept details tightly under wraps.

However, this event aligns with the company’s typical annual announcement of new iPhones ahead of the crucial holiday shopping season.

The potential release of the iPhone 15 coincides with a period where Apple faces challenges in the Chinese market, where reports suggest the government is prohibiting civil servants from using Apple phones. While this may have minimal impact on sales, it highlights concerns over Apple’s reliance on China for manufacturing amid growing diplomatic tensions between Beijing and Washington.

Apple has seen declining iPhone sales in recent quarters due to higher prices, causing customers to delay upgrading to newer models.

While rumors circulate prior to every iPhone launch, it is widely anticipated that Tuesday’s event will mark Apple’s transition to a universal USB-C port, replacing its proprietary Lightning connectors for charging and data transfer.

This charger switch aligns with European Union regulations, mandating USB-C as the standard charger for all new smartphones, tablets, and cameras from late 2024. EU policymakers argue that this rule will simplify the lives of Europeans, reduce electronic waste, and lower costs for consumers.

Apple already employs USB-C charging ports in its iPads and laptops but had resisted EU efforts to phase out Lightning ports on iPhones, citing concerns about innovation and security.

“The cable change may give consumers pause, but within a generation, they will get over it—they won’t have a choice,” remarked Techsponential analyst Avi Greengart.

“Apple’s Wonderlust event next week will center on the iPhone, which needs a big cycle after a tepid last few quarters,” noted Insider Intelligence principal analyst Yory Wurmser. “The event will also likely cover new Apple Watch and AirPod models, but it’s the iPhone 15 that will really determine how the next year will look for Apple.

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