References in the latest Apple software beta suggest select iPhone 14 variants could be retrofitted with USB-C ports later this year, deviating from the Lightning connector found on current models. If true, the change would bring uniformity across Apple’s newest iPhone lineup just as USB-C becomes mandated in the EU.
Developer Finds Mentions of Unreleased iPhone Models.
Noted Apple developer @aaronp613 recently unearthed clues that point to potential USB-C-equipped iPhones launching in the future. While examining the code for Apple’s tvOS 17 beta 5, they spotted references to two unknown iPhone models: “iPhone14,1” and “iPhone14,9.”
Further inspection revealed four additional mystery iPhone variants in previous tvOS beta versions. It’s presumed the initial four represent the upcoming iPhone 15 series, including the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
That leaves the two newly found models unaccounted for. They don’t align with any current or imminent iPhone editions.
USB-C Retrofit Could Come to iPhone 14 and 14 Plus
Though purely speculative for now, one plausible theory is that the two mystery phones are revised versions of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. Apple typically keeps select previous-generation models around after new iPhones launch.
Fitting the lower-cost iPhone 14 pair with USB-C would bring uniform charging capabilities across Apple’s latest offerings. It would also comply with upcoming EU regulations mandating USB-C on new mobile devices.
The unnamed models’ chipset identifiers indicate they’ll retain the A15 Bionic processor rather than adopt the iPhone 14 Pro’s A16 chip. This suggests the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus are prime candidates for a surprise USB-C refresh.
Change Could Arrive Alongside iPhone 15 Launch.
If Apple does plan USB-C retrofits for existing models, it would likely coincide with its iPhone 15 unveiling in September. Sudden connectivity spec changes and a significant new product launch would be less confusing.
Apple could then market the revised iPhone 14 as “enhanced” editions, tempting existing owners to upgrade for consistent charging and data transfer while keeping the same core performance. Simultaneous USB-C adoption across both new and old iPhones would also streamline manufacturing.