Leaked Photos Claim to Show iPhone 15 USB-C Connector

iPhone charging USB-C Credit: Shutterstock
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Photos of what are said to be iPhone 15 USB-C connector parts have been leaked online. Apple is wisely expected to be dropping its proprietary Lightning port from the upcoming iPhone 15 lineup in favor of USB-C connectors.

The images seen here were shared by leakers @lipilipsi and @John011235 on X (formerly Twitter), who say the photos show the USB-C connector ports, which are attached to the flexible PCB component parts that will be used to build the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max models, due to debut in September.

iphone 15 series usb c

These photos are not the first indications that Apple will be making a final move away from its proprietary Lightning connector. In February, we got a first look at what was said to be the USB-C port that will be used on the iPhone 15, shared on Twitter by leaker Unknownz21. That tweet has since been deleted.

In March, Apple industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple had plans to drop the Lightning port and cables on its iPhone lineup in favor of USB-C ports and cables. Kuo said at the time that Apple will limit the charging power of USB-C cables unless they are using Apple’s certified parts.

If true, means users will not be able to charge their iPhones as quickly with a non-certified third-party USB-C cable or charger.

According to Kuo, Apple will optimize the fast charging performance of USB-C-equipped iPhone 15 models. Apple’s current iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus support up to 20W of maximum charging speed, while the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max support up to 27W of charging capability.

Apple debuted the Lightning port on the iPhone 5 in 2012 as a replacement for the 30-pin dock connector that was introduced with its iPod lineup and used on the first five generations of iPhone, from the original 2007 model through to the iPhone 4S. Among traditional iPods, only the seventh-generation iPod nano adopted the Lightning port, although it was also used on all iPod touch models that followed the iPhone 5.

The charging port switchover is mostly being driven by Apple’s need to comply with new regulations put in place in the European Union, forcing the company to at least equip European models of the iPhone with USB-C ports. However, Apple is expected to make a worldwide design change to USB-C rather than manufacturing specific iPhone models for sale in the EU.

The EU officially passed the common charger law in October 2022 but did not set a specific timeframe for adoption. In December 2022, it published a directive saying all smartphones are required to be equipped with USB-C connectors by December 28, 2024. So, despite evidence that Apple is adopting the USB-C connector for the iPhone 15 lineup, the company could wait until the iPhone 16 is released to make the move.

Other consumer-focused electronic products, including tablets, will also be required to make the switch to USB-C. Products that are charged solely via wireless charging are exempt from the new regulations.

Apple is expected to debut its new iPhone 15 lineup at a media event to be held on or around Tuesday, September 12. That means iPhone 15 pre-orders will likely go live a few days later on Friday, Sept. 15 and the handsets will hit shelves one week later on Sept. 22.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

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