An iPhone with USB-C is finally coming — but Apple’s not happy about it

iPhone 13 mini
(Image credit: Laptop Mag/Sean Riley)

We finally have direct confirmation from Apple that a USB-C iPhone is coming, but it’s clear that the company is not happy about having to do so.

This comes off the back of the European Union’s new rule for all devices to require a single charging solution by Autumn 2024, to eliminate unnecessary electronic waste. We’ve seen Apple respond to this with a slow migration of all its devices to USB-C — most recently including the new 2022 iPad, and rumors are pointing towards the iPhone 15 packing this universal port.

But as was abundantly clear from the answer Apple’s senior vp of worldwide marketing, Greg Joswiak gave to The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern about replacing the lightning port at the publication’s Tech Live conference, the company is not feeling great about feeling forced to do so.

What was said?

iPhone 14 Pro

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

When Joanna pressed on this topic of a USB-C iPhone, Greg began with a long explanation about how Apple prefers to have faith in its own engineers and make its own decisions, rather than being legally coerced. 

He also mentioned how he believes power bricks with detachable cables have eliminated the standardization problem, but when pressed on this core topic, he responded by simply saying “Obviously, we’ll have to comply; we have no choice.” 

The EU’s process to implement this rule has taken a while for sure, so as we mentioned above, Apple has had time to plan for compliance. But this sort of resistive answer was a little unexpected.

For a company that cares about environmental responsibility, to the point of making its devices out of recyclable materials and removing chargers from boxes (to eliminate additional waste), surely it would be more welcoming of a move away from a proprietary port.

What else did they talk about?

As you can see by the length of the video, Joanna, Greg and Software VP Craig Federighi, there’s a lot more meat to this conversation, which I can wrap up real quick:

  • Don’t expect iMessage on Android: Joanna asked about why Apple would not bring iMessage to Android devices, citing legal documents that show the company could have developed this as early as 2013, but chose not to. While Craig dodged the question slightly in his response at first, when pushed, he confirmed that the company see this project as a “throwaway” that “was not going to serve the world.”
  • No, you will not be getting a native calculator app on iPad: It’s been an interesting omission for a while now, but far from being a simple oversight, it seems like Apple has no plans to make one anytime soon, as Greg pointed towards the many “third-party apps” that do the job.
  • More iPhone innovation is coming: I know this is a vague and obvious confirmation, but this came in response to a question Joanna asked about the pace of iPhone innovation — specifying whether it actually needs a yearly update and whether smartphones as a whole had become boring. "We always have a ton of stuff that we've got to get out," Craig commented. He also mentioned that a lot of these new features are a result of “years and years” of work, and that there is “a pipeline of things we believe will better help our customers.”
Jason England
Content Editor

Jason brought a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag, and he is now the Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.