If there’s one feature we’re 100% sure of when the iPhone 15 comes out this fall, it’s USB-C. Ever since the EU ratified its law requiring new portable electronic devices to use a universal charging port starting in 2024, it has been reported time and time again that Apple won’t be dragging its feet on compliance.
However, this was apparently not always the case. According to rumors from Unknownz21 on TwitterApple planned a Lightning version of the iPhone 15 “very early,” but the prototype was “quickly scrapped” in favor of USB-C.
It’s not a complete surprise, but it’s an interesting look at Apple’s iPhone development process, which reportedly started years ahead of schedule. While the ports are similar, the switch from Lightning to USB-C is not a minor change and likely required numerous internal and layout updates. This could also be one of the reasons why Apple is reportedly struggling with the rumored tactile mechanisms for the capacitive buttons on the iPhone 15 Pro.
Apple is expected to move to USB-C across its entire iPhone lineup, marking the end of the 10-year Lightning connection period. Following the iPad’s transition to USB-C over the past few years, the iPhone has become the last major device to still use the port, aside from AirPods cases and Mac accessories.
Along with charging, the Lightning port is also used for data transfer, but currently the maximum speed is 480Mbps. The move to USB-C will allow Apple to offer much faster data transfers, possibly up to 40Gbps if it supports Thunderbolt on iPhone 15 Pro models.
Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 15 at an event in September. For the latest news and rumors, follow our iPhone 15 super guide.