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There is now a specific date for when Apple will need to stop using Lightning
- There will need to be an Apple USB-C iPhone by December 28, 2024.
- This is the formal date the EU has declared for all new devices to have USB-C.
- We will likely see a USB-C iPhone well before that date, though.
Earlier this year, the EU officially agreed upon a law that requires manufacturers to use a common charger solution for all applicable products. This set the wheels in motion for what we’ve always wanted: an iPhone that doesn’t have a Lightning port.
Today, the EU finally set a specific date for the enforcement of this law: December 28, 2024 (via The Verge). Any device created after that date that wants to sell to Europe will need to use the USB-C standard. The days of the Apple USB-C iPhone are upon us!
However, we fully expect Apple to already have USB-C iPhones on store shelves before 2024. The iPhone 15 series — which we expect to land in September 2023 — will probably be the first without Lightning ports. By the end of 2024, we’ll also probably have the iPhone 16 series and maybe even a new iPhone SE with USB-C ports.
Regardless, if for some strange reason Apple wanted to hold off even longer on abandoning Lightning, it would need to make the change no later than December 2024.
The EU hopes this law will force manufacturers to be more environmentally conscious. If every device uses the same connector, it will eliminate millions of tons of waste since people won’t need to abandon cable accessories when they upgrade devices. Of course, it will take years for Lightning-based iPhones to fully go away, but we needed to start somewhere.