Why Apple's hesitation on USB-C for iPhones?

I don’t have a problem with standards, but as a user of existing Apple products this change means that eventually I’ll have redundant, but otherwise still functional, cables I’ll once again have to throw out along with the cost of acquiring a whole new set with USB-C plugs. They’re also all going to need USB-A on the other end or we’ll have to throw out all our chargers too. That means all the single port and multiple port ones in the house along with the ones we use in the car.

Because USB-C is merely a connector it has created a minefield of cable choices.

I’m generally opposed to wireless charging. A waste of power to support not being bothered to push in a little plug.


I’m late to this discussion.

My own suspicion is that Apple would like to avoid the situation in future, where someone asks: “Apple says that their iPhone runs very fast and efficiently… Why can’t I use my iPhone 15, to run MacOS? Clearly Apple is blocking this via software”. Personally, I think this would be a reasonable question, as adding USB-C would make an iPhone close to a stripped-down Mac mini: Wireless keyboard and mouse, USB-C monitor which also charges. Or MagSafe charging.

Or in the very distant future: “Why doesn’t Apple let us install Raspberry Pi OS on these ancient iPhone 15 phones, and allow us to use them as Raspberry Pi W servers, or as waterproof security cams? Apple clearly has the ability to allow iPhone users to ‘jailbreak’ their phones”. I mean… an old jailbroken iPhone would make a kickass security cam.

Sticking to Lightning, or portless phones, avoids these scenarios.

As for why iPads have USB-C: I guess because Apple just doesn’t sell as many of those as they do phones. Or people already can use iPads for computer-like functions.

I don’t think that’s there reason, because as you say then people would be making that argument for the iPads (which really are as powerful as a Mac – many use the same SOC). Indeed, some people do make that argument for the iPad, but I think Apple is pretty comfortable ignoring it.

I think that at a basic level, Apple isn’t lying when they bring up the sheer number of existing lightning cables and accessories as a reason. (I’m sure there are other reasons – cough, licensing, cough – that exist as well which they don’t mention.) There will be an outcry when the iPhone switches to USB-C. People complaining that Apple’s always switching connectors just to get them to spend more money on cables. Ignore that Lightning has been stable for a decade, there will be a vocal minority that complain loudly. There are a lot of iPhones around. A lot more than iPads, so a minority complaining is a lot of people.


I think that what is most likely is that Apple needs to continue to sell products in the EU. Apple has made it very clear they are extremely unhappy with this situation. They are not enthusiastic about being forced to jump on the bandwagon and not rushing ahead to make the switch,