A new look for some Apple products including AirPods and AirPods Pro is predicted by highly reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. And it is quite simply possible that it will arrive with the AirPods Pro 2 expected in the coming months.
When Ming-Chi Kuo tweeted that the iPhone would soon change its charging system from Lightning to the much more common USB-C, it seemed impossible to believe. But then Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman corroborated the rumor.
Now Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities, has once again taken to Twitter to add to the knowledge of what’s changing.
The expected update will take place in 2023, with the arrival of the iPhone 15, if Kuo and Gurman are correct.
Here is Kuo’s tweet:
To take these points in order:
1. iPhone without port may cause more problems due to current limitations of wireless technologies and immature MagSafe ecosystem.
This refers to the expectation that Apple would go straight from Lightning to a portless iPhone. But Kuo’s latest tweet indicates that it may be too early to deliver a good enough experience without some sort of wired option.
And then there is the second part:
2. Other Lightning port products (e.g. AirPods, Magic Keyboard/Trackpad/Mouse, MagSafe Battery) would also switch to USB-C in the foreseeable future.
Let’s start with the AirPods. Apple has been known to subtly update products like its earbuds while they’re on sale. For example, the AirPods Pro case is now compatible with MagSafe, which was added when the third-generation AirPods launched with this feature.
So it’s entirely possible that the next AirPods Pro 2 will be the next product to make the Lightning to USB-C switch. It would give a slightly different design. As Apple repeatedly points out, a Lightning connector is thinner than USB-C, so it can create slimmer devices. Even so, the current AirPods Pro case seems large enough to accept USB-C, however reluctantly.
Kuo is vague on the timeline here, just saying it will happen for the foreseeable future. The AirPods Pro update is expected later this year, a year before the iPhone 15 ships a USB-C plug.
Could Apple be switching to AirPods Pro 2 to prepare people for a USB-C iPhone the following year? After all, nothing is holding Apple back. It already has most iPads and all Mac laptops using USB-C. If you already own multiple Apple products, you might already be using USB-C on at least one of them. With the AirPods Pro 2 expected soon, wouldn’t it be commercially better for Apple to install USB-C on day one rather than rethinking halfway through the cycle? We will have to see.
But then there are the other products that will follow, like the Magic Mouse, the Magic Keyboard, the Magic Trackpad for Mac. Not to mention the wireless battery. I would add that I think all of these products could move to USB-C sooner rather than later, with the exception of the battery. It wouldn’t make sense for this to be connected to a cable other than the one you use for your iPhone, would it?
So, I predict that even if the others change sooner, as they should, I would say the battery will be Lightning until the iPhone 15 launches.
More details as we have them.