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regular-article-logo Monday, 26 February 2024

iPhone transitions from Lightning port to USB-C after more than a decade

During the launch at Apple Park, the conversation was dialled up by the transition from the proprietary Lightning charging point, which iPhones have used since 2012, to USB-C to comply with a European Union law that requires phone manufacturers to adopt a common charging connection by December 2024

Mathures Paul Cupertino (US) Published 13.09.23, 09:38 AM
Apple CEO Tim Cook attends the 'Wonderlust' event at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California, U.S. September 12, 2023.

Apple CEO Tim Cook attends the 'Wonderlust' event at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California, U.S. September 12, 2023. Reuters

Apple has unveiled the iPhone 15 series at a time when the overall smartphone market continues to limp but the iPhone is riding the popularity wave, especially in markets like India, and the company’s ecosystem rules the preference of Gen Z consumers globally.

During the launch at Apple Park, the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, the conversation was dialled up by the transition from the proprietary Lightning charging point, which iPhones have used since 2012 (prior to iPhone 5 the Dock Connector was used), to USB-C to comply with a European Union law that requires phone manufacturers to adopt a common charging connection by December 2024.

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The launch of iPhone 15 series

The launch of iPhone 15 series

To mitigate consumer concerns, the new phones will have USB-C cable in the box. Charging bricks continue to be left out of the box since 2020, but anyone who has bought a charging brick to power iPhone 12 onwards should be fine.

A bigger implication of the EU legislation will be in the form of encouragement in the long run for Apple to push MagSafe or wireless charging accessories more vigorously for years to come.

The iPhone 15 series has four models, two of which are the ‘Pro’ variant. Significant changes have been made to the Pro models, which now come with a titanium frame instead of stainless steel, making it lighter and stronger, allowing users an opportunity to hold on to their phones longer. It also comes with a customisable Action button. There is also 5x optical zoom at 120mm focal length. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus both come with a new camera system.

Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2

Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2

The overall Apple ecosystem continues to gain traction. According to market intelligence group Canalys, globally, for every 100 iPhones shipped, Apple sells 26 iPads, 17 Apple Watches and 35 pairs of Airpods, which is far higher than its rival Samsung, which sells 11 tablets, six smartwatches and six wireless earbuds for every 100 of its smartphones shipped.

The popularity among teenagers is unprecedented. According to Piper Sandler, an investment bank, 87 per cent of teens in the US own an iPhone; 88 per cent expect an iPhone to be their next phone; and 35 per cent own an Apple Watch.

Also announced at the annual marquee event are Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, both of which now come with a helpful double-tap feature.

Apple CEO Tim Cook at the launch event

Apple CEO Tim Cook at the launch event

There have been reports that the company’s manufacturing hardware partner Foxconn has involved its Sriperumbudur plant in Tamil Nadu in the iPhone 15 production process. Apple is keeping a close eye on China — an important market for the company — as tensions between Beijing and Washington continue to escalate while the European Union’s legislation to curb the power of Big Tech continues.

(The correspondent's trip has been sponsored by Apple)

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