(US) – Apple has officially revealed that its upcoming iPhone 15 will abandon the company’s proprietary lightning charging port in favor of the universally accepted USB-C cable.
This move comes in response to an EU directive that pushed for standardized charging ports to benefit consumers, reduce costs, and minimize electronic waste.
The announcement was made during Apple’s annual event, where the tech giant also introduced a new series of the Apple Watch with advanced features and a more powerful chip.
While Apple enthusiasts eagerly awaited significant updates, some analysts noted the absence of headline-grabbing innovations this year.
According to Ben Wood of CCS Insight, this reflects the maturity of the iPhone and Watch products, making it increasingly challenging to deliver disruptive changes annually.
To accommodate users with existing lightning accessories, Apple has released a USB-C-to-lightning port adapter for £29 ($36), allowing compatibility with the new USB-C-enabled iPhones and iPads.
iPhone 15 breaks tradition
The iPhone 15, set to launch next week, will be the first Apple handset since 2012 to feature an alternative charging port. Besides iPhones, the USB-C cable will also work with new versions of AirPods Pro and wired EarPods headphones.
The EU’s directive aims to make consumers’ lives easier, save them money, and reduce electronic waste by promoting charger re-use. However, critics argue that this transition may lead to increased cable waste in the future.
In response to environmental concerns, Apple made several eco-friendly commitments during the launch event, including carbon-neutral Apple Watch production and the increased use of recycled materials in new devices.
Apple pledged to cease using leather in any of its accessories and to become a carbon-neutral business by 2030.
The new models feature brighter screens, improved camera systems, and the high-end iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max come with titanium frames to enhance durability.
The latest Apple Watch offers gesture control, allowing users to answer or end calls with a simple double tap on the device.
Despite these improvements, experts questioned whether consumers would be willing to pay premium prices for devices that don’t represent a significant departure from their predecessors.
The iPhone 15 starts at £799, and the iPhone 15 Pro starts at £999 in the UK.
During the event, Apple’s shares experienced a slight decline, following a recent sharp drop driven by reports of a Chinese government ban on officials using iPhones.
Concerns were exacerbated by Huawei’s launch of a new smartphone series in China, contributing to investor unease.
The global smartphone market has faced challenges, with shipments decreasing from 294.5 million to 268 million in the second quarter of 2023.
Apple’s shipments saw a comparatively minor decline from 46.5 million to 45.3 million phones, according to Counterpoint Research.