The next AirPods Pro: It's getting this much-needed feature you've been begging for

best Bose headphones alternatives: Apple AirPods Pro 2
(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

The iPhone 15 may not be the only iDevice that's getting the new USB-C port. According to Ming-Chi Kuo, a respected Apple leaker who has a 72% accuracy rate, the next AirPods Pro will likely ditch Apple's proprietary Lightning port for USB-C, too.

To discourage e-waste, the European Union passed a mandate that all phones, tablets and cameras sold in the region must have USB-C charging ports by the end of 2024. “Obviously, we’ll have to comply,” Apple’s senior VP of worldwide marketing Greg Joswiak told The Wall Street Journal. “We have no choice.”

Will all iDevices get the USB-C treatment?

The EU didn't list headphones in its mandate, but still, the Cupertino-based tech giant is reportedly adding the universal port to its popular earbuds next. Could this mean that Apple is slowly working on making all of its iDevices USB-C-friendly?

If this is the case, Apple will be sulking throughout the process — the company's never been shy about its aversion to USB-C. In 2021, an Apple spokesperson told Reuters that it was against the EU's common charging port proposal, claiming that "one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world."

The Cupertino-based tech giant could have had a point there if the Lightning port was, indeed, better than USB-C, but the latter is significantly superior and offers faster data speeds (up to 40Gbps vs. 480Mbps), so Apple's innovation argument fell flat.

Although it took an EU mandate to make it happen, many are relieved that Apple is nixing the Lightning port. The inconvenience of bringing several cables to power devices with differing charging ports is a pain.

However, we may not be out of the woods yet. According to reports, the company will still ensure that its ports and cables are MFI-certified. As such, there's a chance that only Apple-certified USB-C cables will deliver the full benefits of USB-C.

Keep in mind, though, that our editor Jason England dug into the EU's USB-C verbose legislation language, and according to him, this MFI Ioophole could potentially be illegal.

Still, if the next AirPods Pro does, indeed, get a USB-C cable, it's a step in the right direction for Apple fans who prefer standardized ports.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!