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Apple AirPods, Other Accessories Could Get USB Type-C Port by 2024: Report

The USB Type-C charging standard was recently mandated for smartphones, tablets, and cameras sold in Europe from 2024 onwards.

Apple AirPods, Other Accessories Could Get USB Type-C Port by 2024: Report

The Apple AirPods range, including the new AirPods Pro (2nd Gen), use the Lightning port for charging

  • Apple is reportedly prepared to adopt USB Type-C across its device range
  • Many Apple products currently use the Lightning charging port
  • That said, wireless charging being widely adopted seems to be the plan

Apple could be preparing to adopt the USB Type-C charging standard for many products in its range by 2024, including future products in the AirPods range, as well as various accessories for Mac devices. This could be in line with its plans to shift the iPhone and iPad product lines to the USB Type-C standard, in order to comply with a recent order passed by the European Union mandating the more universally used USB Type-C standard for smartphones, tablets, and cameras from 2024 onwards.

The speculation on this comes via a report from journalist Mark Gurman via his popular Power On newsletter on Bloomberg. In the newsletter, he suggests that Apple has already been planning for the possibility of the European Union mandating a single charging standard to improve interoperability and reduce environmental waste caused by disposal of chargers.

That law was passed recently, and will mandate that all smartphones, tablets, and cameras sold in the European Union have a USB Type-C charging port from 2024 onwards. This is expected to only significantly affect Apple, since it currently uses the Lightning standard for its iPhone and much of its iPad range. Most Android devices already use the USB Type-C standard, and are therefore already compliant with the upcoming law.

This means that new Apple iPhone devices will have to have USB Type-C ports to be sold in Europe from 2024 onwards, suggesting that the iPhone series will switch away from the current Lightning charging standard sooner rather than later. The Power On newsletter also suggests that Apple could have a plan in place to migrate its AirPods range and Mac accessories to the new standard alongside, even though those products do not fall within the scope of the European law.

This will be to ensure better interoperability even within the Apple ecosystem; the same charging cable and plug will work with iPhone, iPad, AirPods, and Mac devices and accessories. That said, Apple has indicated that it will heavily encourage the use of wireless charging for all of its products going forward, with the possibility of even having a port-less iPhone at some point down the line.

Many Apple products, including the iPhone series and newer AirPods models such as the AirPods Pro (2nd Gen), use the Lightning standard for wired charging. However, they also support Qi wireless charging, along with Apple's MagSafe technology for secure attaching with the wireless charger.

Apple unveiled eight new products at its September ‘Far Out' event. Which ones will float — and which will sink? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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  • NEWS
  • Design / Comfort
  • Audio Quality
  • Battery Life
  • Value For Money
  • Good
  • Classic design with improved controls
  • Comfortable fit
  • State-of-the-art charging case
  • Very good battery life
  • Flexible, eager sound quality
  • Excellent ANC and transparency modes
  • Bad
  • Some features only work on Apple devices
  • Somewhat expensive
Colour White
Headphone Type In-Ear
Microphone Yes
Connectivity True Wireless Stereo (TWS)
Type Earphones

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Ali Pardiwala
Ali Pardiwala writes about audio and video devices for Gadgets 360 out of Mumbai, and has covered the industry for a decade now. Ali is a Senior Reviewer for Gadgets 360, where he has regularly written about televisions, home entertainment, and mobile gaming as well. He is a firm believer in 4K and HDR on televisions, and believes that true wireless earphones are the future of the personal audio industry. Ali is available on Twitter as @AliusPardius and on email at alip@ndtv.com, so do send in ...More
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