Apple in recent months has been testing future iPhone models that replace the Lightning port with a USB-C connector, Bloomberg reported Friday, citing unnamed people with "knowledge of the situation." The company is also reportedly working on an adapter that will let future USB-C iPhones use accessories designed for the Lightning connector.
The Bloomberg report comes after Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted in a May 11 tweet that USB-C could land on the iPhone 15 in 2023. Rumors have popped up over the past few years that Apple may drop the Lightning port on the iPhone in favor of USB-C, as the tech giant has been gradually shifting over to USB-C on many of its products.
"My latest survey indicates that 2H23 new iPhone will abandon Lightning port and switch to USB-C port," Kuo tweeted, without offering specifics on the survey. He added that "USB-C could improve iPhone's transfer and charging speed in hardware designs."
Kuo's timeline was seconded by Bloomberg, which reported that an iPhone with USB-C would come in 2023 at the earliest.
Apple didn't respond to a request for comment.
Apple has been shifting over to USB-C on products such as MacBooks in 2015, iPad Pro in 2018, iPad Air in 2020 and iPad Mini in 2021. In an additional tweet on Sunday, Kuo said several other Apple accessories, including AirPods, Magic Keyboard and MagSafe Battery Pac, are expected to switch over to USB-C, but he didn't offer a specific timeline.
USB-C is an industry standard that covers much of the electronics world, offering data transfers and letting people use one charger for multiple devices. With a power upgrade to 240 watts last year, people can also use USB-C to plug in devices like gaming laptops, docking stations and 4K monitors. European Union regulators have also been pushing for phone and other devices to include a common USB-C charging port.
The upcoming iPhone 14, expected to be released later this year, will likely stick with the Lightning port. There have also been rumors of a completely portless iPhone, but it's not clear when (or if) those will come true.