By 2024 all three AirPods models, as well as Mac accessories such as the Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad, are expected to transition to USB-C.
The European Parliament approved a new directive earlier this week requiring manufacturers to offer USB-C as a common charging port across a wide range of devices in Europe by the end of 2024. Apple has been preparing to make changes to its devices in order to meet these new legal requirements.
It is expected that Apple will meet the legislation’s application deadline of late 2024 with the majority of its products. The iPhone 15 will feature a USB-C port in the fall of 2023, one year ahead of the EU’s deadline. The entry-level iPad, the only one with a Lightning connector, should transition to USB-C by the end of this year.
It is speculated that if Apple releases a new iPhone SE model in March 2024 with a Lightning port rather than a USB-C port, it will be in compliance with EU law because it will be released before the end of the year – but any new iPhone SE model released in 2025 or 2026 would have to feature USB-C.
When new versions are released, all AirPods models, as well as the Magic Mouse, Magic Keyboard, and Magic Trackpad, will need to be updated. He expects several significant Mac updates next year, including a new iMac and a Mac Pro.
Despite the adoption of USB-C across Apple’s product line, the USB-C era will last far less than the 30-pin iPod connector or Lightning, “at least for Apple’s mobile devices.” The iPod connector and Lightning connector will have been on new Apple devices for approximately 11 years before being phased out, and it is believed that “Apple’s future is wireless and that some version of the canceled AirPower dream from 2017 will still eventually come to fruition – well before a decade from now.”
Apple will almost certainly begin transitioning to entirely inductive charging on the iPhone and iPad, effectively exempting the devices from EU law mandating the inclusion of a USB-C port.