Second report says iPhone 15 getting USB-C port in place of Lightning

The rumor: Following a blockbuster report from earlier this week, Mark Gurman (86.4% accurate) now confirms that Apple is hard at work on putting USB-C on next year’s iPhone.

Here’s the latest, via Bloomberg…

  • “Apple Inc. is testing future iPhone models that replace the current Lightning charging port with the more prevalent USB-C connector, according to people with knowledge of the situation, a move that could help the company conform with looming European regulations.” Gurman says. “In addition to testing models with a USB-C port in recent months, Apple is working on an adapter that would let future iPhones work with accessories designed for the current Lightning connector…”
  • Apple last switched the charging port from 30-pin to Lightning in 2012 on iPhone 5, USB-C is said to make its debut in 2023 at the earliest

Sam’s take: I can’t believe that Gurman is now echoing Kuo’s report from just days ago. This is no joke, and I really do think that we will be getting USB-C on iPhone 15 considering the caliber of reporting here. I won’t believe it until I see it, but this is the most smoke we’ve ever had for the USB-C fire.

Reputable source says USB-C is coming to iPhone 15 next year

The rumor: After sticking with Lightning for a decade, Apple could finally make the switch to USB-C, according to Ming-Chi Kuo (72.5% accurate, source).

  • Kuo states that from surveys in the supply chain, he has learned that it is likely Apple will abandon the controversial Lightning connector
  • Due to proposed EU regulations, Apple could be forced to switch to USB-C for the 2023 iPhone
    • The proposal states that all smartphones, tablets, and headphones that are sold in the UK must use a USB-C connector
    • EU politicians have petitioned for a standard connector, citing that more than 11,000 tonnes of unused charging cables are thrown out per year
  • USB-C is already on a number of Apple devices such as Mac, iPad Pro and iPad Air…plus the benefits include faster charging and transfer speed

Ian’s take: While this is exciting news, I’m not that confident in its validity. We have heard from many sources that Apple’s long-term goal is a portless iPhone, and if they do make the switch to USB-C, it would only be for a few years (something uncharacteristic for Apple). I also believe that the Made For iPhone program (MFI) has a massive role in Apple’s persistence to keep Lightning. MFI is a licensing program that guarantees the compatibility of accessories with iPhones and gives accessory makers tools to make these accessories. When one of these millions of 3rd-party products is sold, Apple gets a cut. With USB-C, they could not have this program because USB-C is a universal connector, unlike Lightning. It would be fantastic if Apple switched to USB-C, and while I can’t see it happening, I would love to eat my words.

Apple’s iPhone 15 will have under-display Face ID (report)

The rumor: Apple is working on high-end iPhones with under-display Face ID, according to The Elec (66.7% accurate).

Here’s the report…

  • Both under-screen Face ID and a hole punch cutout are said to be present on iPhone 15 Pro models when they launch sometime in 2023
  • The display tech will reportedly be provided by Samsung, who plans to use it in their upcoming foldable phones
  • Prior reports said Apple was working on a truly all-screen design with no notch or cutouts at all for the 2023 iPhones…

Sam’s take: With the launch of this still well over a year away, I have no idea if Apple will actually be able to achieve the truly all screen design, or if this new info from The Elec will be closer to what we end up seeing (just a single camera hole punch). My gut says that this latest report is right, because there’s a part of me that believes a design like the one above is just too good to be true.

2023 iPhones again rumored to include 10x zoom periscope lens

The rumor: Apple is working on the biggest upgrade yet for their telephoto zoom lens, according to Jeff Pu (53.3% accurate, via MacRumors).

Our take: What is a periscope zoom lens? Essentially, it takes a longer zoom lens that normally would make the phone unreasonably thick and places it sidways, using a mirror or prism to reflect what it sees into the camera sensor. There’s an image that illustrates it above and a really helpful video from Samsung below. I never saw it visualized like this before and it actually makes sense: this is the path to seriously increasing the optical zoom in smartphones.