Is the reign of Apple’s Lightning port over?

Although rumors have been circulating for some time that Apple was moving away from its proprietary Lightning ports, a recent proposal may force the change. On June 7, 2022, lawmakers and countries in the EU agreed that the industry needs a standardized port so that all devices could use the same type of charging/data cable: a USB-C cable.

If these rules are approved by the European Council and European Parliament after the summer recess, it is expected that by fall 2024 all manufacturers of mobile devices will have to comply. The exception is laptops, which will have roughly till the beginning of 2026 to make the change.

What is USB?

USB is short for universal serial bus. It is how devices communicate, exchange data and receive power. For instance, if you want to import photos and videos from your digital camera to your computer, the cable you use to connect your camera to your desktop computer is a USB cable. However, that cable will likely have different connectors (or plugs) at each end. Also, the USB cable you use for your camera will have different plugs than the USB cable you use to charge your phone.

Why move to a standardized USB?

There are three types of USB connectors: USB-A, USB-B and USB-C. Each type is a different shape. There are also three sizes: regular, mini and micro. Plus, there are different USB versions, which each offer different speeds and functionality. Lastly, companies such as Apple have their own proprietary USB connectors, which may not accept other manufacturers’ cables.

All of this makes for a significant amount of confusion and waste. To streamline communication between devices, the EU has proposed that retailers and manufacturers cannot sell a product unless it has a USB-C port. This type of cable will handle every wired connection, whether it is for power or data. The move will greatly simplify wired connectivity between all devices.

Why is USB-C the best?

There are several reasons why the chosen standard is USB-C. First and foremost, it’s already well on its way to being the standard. Unless you’re buying an Apple product, finding a device that doesn’t already have a USB-C port is becoming difficult.

There are three primary reasons why USB-C has become so popular. The first is that the plug is smaller, thinner and it doesn’t have a top or bottom. It will fit and work no matter how you plug it in, which reduces frustration. Second, USB-C offers a larger power delivery to charge even large devices quickly, such as a laptop. Third, it is backward compatible with a variety of connection types. This is important for moving forward because it means there is less chance of losing everything that has come before.

Will my older devices become obsolete?

The good news is that while USB-C will be the only device option in the near future, your old devices will still work. In fact, current speculation is that Apple won’t even switch over until the deadline. So you will probably be able to purchase new, noncompliant devices for the next year or so.

Best USB-C accessories

Apple USB-C Charging Cable

Apple USB-C Charging Cable

A longer USB-C charging cable gives you more flexibility. You can use those inconvenient outlets that are just a little too far away for a regular-sized cord and not worry about your phone falling off a desk or laying on the floor while it is charging. This cable is 6.5 feet long.

Sold by Amazon and Staples

Apple USB-C Power Adapter

Apple USB-C Power Adapter

This USB-C power adapter offers 20 watts of charging power, making it a top choice for fast charging at home or in the office. You get the most out of this model when pairing it with an iPad Pro, an iPad Air or an iPhone 8 or later. This model works with iPhone, AirPods, iPad and Apple Watch and only includes the charger cable which is sold separately.

Sold by Amazon and Staples

MacBook USB-C Pro Charger

MacBook USB-C Pro Charger

This MacBook charger offers 118 watts of power, which means you can fully charge most laptops in under two hours. It has several built-in safety features that protect you and your equipment, such as temperature protection, short-circuit protection, overload protection and more. An extra-long charging cable is included with your purchase.

Sold by Amazon

Apple Watch Magnetic Fast Charger

Apple Watch Magnetic Fast Charger

For people looking for an effortless charging solution for their Apple watch. This USB-C magnetic charger can charge most watches up to 80% in under an hour. With the built-in magnets, you get perfect alignment every time, so you don’t have to worry about coming back in an hour to discover your device wasn’t even charging.

Sold by Amazon and Staples

Anker USB-C Hub

Anker USB-C Hub

Anker is a trusted name in charging technology. This accessory, however, is a USB-C hub. It offers seven different types of ports and has pass-through charging that can deliver up to 85 watts of power to your laptop. The 18-month warranty provides peace of mind.

Sold by Amazon

Apple Headphone Jack Adapter

Apple Headphone Jack Adapter

If you still have headphones or earbuds with a 3.5 mm jack, this little adapter lets you use them with a USB-C port. It works with all devices that feature a USB-C port.

Sold by Amazon and Staples

 

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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