Apple has officially revealed the iPhone 15 series, which no longer features the lightning charging port. This change was mandated by the European Union (EU). The tech giant announced this development during its annual event held on Tuesday, revealing that the iPhone 15 would adopt a USB-C cable as the new “universally accepted standard.”
In addition to the iPhone news, Apple also introduced a new series of the Apple Watch, boasting a more advanced chip. However, some analysts noted that this year’s announcements lacked the usual “headline-grabbing” updates that Apple is known for.
Ben Wood, an analyst from CCS Insight, commented on this, stating, “It isn’t a surprise given the maturity of the iPhone and Watch. It reflects just how refined the iPhone and Watch devices are and how tough it has become to deliver truly disruptive updates every year.”
Apple did provide a solution for users with existing lightning port accessories by releasing a USB-C-to-lightning port adapter priced at £29 ($36). This adapter allows users to connect their legacy accessories to the new USB-C-enabled iPhones or iPads. Notably, this marks the first time since 2012 that an iPhone will feature an alternative charging port.
The USB-C cable, already compatible with various Apple laptops and iPads, will also work with the new versions of AirPods Pro earphones and wired EarPods headphones.
The EU had mandated that Apple transition away from its proprietary charging ports to simplify the lives of consumers, reduce costs, and promote the reuse of chargers to combat e-waste. However, some critics have voiced concerns about an increase in discarded cables in the future.
In response to environmental considerations, Apple used its Tuesday launch event to make a series of commitments, including making the new Apple Watch range carbon neutral. They also pledged to increase the use of recycled materials in batteries and other components of the new Watch and iPhone.
Furthermore, Apple confirmed its decision to cease using leather in any of its accessories and aims to become a carbon-neutral business by 2030.
Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, touted the iPhone 15 as the “best and most capable iPhones we’ve ever made,” highlighting improvements such as brighter screens, enhanced camera systems, and a titanium frame for the high-end iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models.
The Pro and Pro Max also feature an “action button” that can be customised for various functions. The new Apple Watch introduces gesture control, allowing wearers to answer or end calls with a simple double tap.
Despite these enhancements, some experts questioned whether consumers would be willing to pay the high price tags for these devices, as they may not offer significant differences from their predecessors.
The iPhone 15 starts at £799, while the iPhone 15 Pro begins at £999 in the UK.