After a decade of using Android phones, I switched to an iPhone SE in 2020. Yes, there were some growing pains, but two years on, I'm fully converted. This year, I was planning to take the bigger plunge and pick up an iPhone 14 Pro. After becoming a father earlier this year, an excellent camera is essential.
I've been looking forward to it for months, but now I just can't bring myself to pull the trigger for one small-but-huge reason: the goddamn Lightning port.
Apple's insistence on using its own special charging port for the iPhone instead of USB-C like virtually every new gadget these days (including many other new Apple products, like the new iPads and MacBooks) is annoying, for sure. But I had made my peace with it, I thought. "Yes, new regulations in the EU will require Apple to produce an iPhone model with USB-C from 2024 onwards, but there's no guarantee it will be available or convenient to buy or use in the United States," I told myself. "And I can't wait two years to upgrade."
But that might not be the case. Apple is publicly grousing about having to make the switch, but also pretty much publicly confirming that's the USB-C iPhone is coming. And, as The Verge pointedly notes, Apple isn't gesturing at the rumored end-around solution to skipping USB-C all together: a fully portless iPhone with wireless-only charging, which EU regulators have said would meet the requirements of the new legislation.
Instead, the rumors suggest that USB-C is coming, not only to stateside iPhones, but to the iPhone 15. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, whose Apple rumor track record is notoriously good, says USB-C on the iPhone 15 is "essentially a lock."
Can I wait one year? Ugh, probably! Will the annoyance of waiting another year to upgrade outweigh the annoyance of glowering at my iPhone 14 Pro when a USB-C iPhone 15 does arrive next fall? Or will I be ready to upgrade again anyway? That's the part I haven't decided.
When I take stock of the ports around my house, not all of them are USB-C. There are a few other devices holding me back from the single-cable dream. My backup batteries use USB-C. So does my Nintendo Switch. But my ancient Garmin running watch has a proprietary cable, my Olympus camera has its dedicated battery charger, and my keychain flashlight and hearing aid charging case are still stuck with micro USB (lol).
The real sticking point is actually one of Apple's own products: my MacBook Air M1. The chargers I use most often are the USB-C cables on my desk and near my couch, which keep this essential gadget (arguably my Main Device) topped up at all times. I would kill to be able to just fill up my iPhone the same way. Okay, maybe not kill — but I would consider not upgrading my iPhone for a year!
To upgrade or wait is the perennial gadget-buying conundrum, and normally I don't find it so paralyzing. But adding to the complexity of the calculus is the virtually inevitability of a future, portless iPhone at some point, which I do not want. I'd rather not face the choice, in 2024, of upgrading my Lightning iPhone 14 Pro to a portless iPhone 16 or a year-old iPhone 15 with USB-C that I passed up the year before.
At the end of the day, I know it's probably silly to fixate this way. I'd made my peace with using Lightning cables a little longer. I have a bunch of them already. It's not that annoying.
So no, I won't completely rule out upgrading to the iPhone 14 Pro. But will I waffle on the decision throughout the holiday season, all through the winter, into the spring and beyond? Quite possibly. And then, well, it's almost October again!