When Phil Schiller presented the Lightning connector at the unveiling of the iPhone 5 in September 2012, he called it “a modern connector for the next decade”, and with that 10-year mark coming later this year, questions remain about what the iPhone looks like. future of the iPhone and whether or not that future will include a Lightning port, or maybe none at all.
Every iPhone since the iPhone 5 has featured a Lightning port, which Apple touted in 2012 as a “smaller, smarter and more durable” port compared to the previous 30-pin connector. Even though the majority of the company’s iPad lineup and entire Mac lineup now feature USB-C, the iPhone has become the odd one out with its inclusion of Lightning.
The smartphone industry has moved quickly to USB-C, with the vast majority of handsets on the market featuring the more versatile port. Apple’s reluctance to follow the industry in adopting USB-C has annoyed many customers, but it looks like Apple is sticking with Lightning on iPhone for a considerable future.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who frequently shares specific information about Apple’s product plans, said the company believes USB-C adoption will negatively impact its Made program. for iPhone (MFi) and notes that Apple is concerned about lower water standards. resistance for USB-C compared to Lightning. Considering these two points, Kuo says that the iPhone will continue to feature Lightning for “the foreseeable future”.
Apple’s ultimate goal for the iPhone is to become completely port-free, relying on MagSafe and wireless connections for charging and data transfer needs. MagSafe on the iPhone, which debuted on the iPhone 12, is not yet fully matured and is limited to charging so far. Apple is highly unlikely to drop Lightning and adopt USB-C for just a few years before going portless. Instead, it’s more likely to use Lightning while still maturing MagSafe for a future portless iPhone.
The European Commission could, however, have an impact on how soon we will have a portless iPhone. The EC has proposed a directive that would require all consumer electronics, including smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and portable video game consoles, to have a “port common”, aka USB-C. If the directive is passed in 2022, companies like Apple will have two years to switch their devices to USB-C.
There are, however, a few caveats. On paper, the directive would be a significant change for the iPhone as it would be forced to include USB-C, but the directive only applies to devices that charge by cable.
An EC spokesperson confirmed The edge that if a device charges exclusively via wireless charging, there is no need to include a USB-C port. That, along with the two-year transition period the directive would allot for businesses to switch to USB-C, gives Apple plenty of time to mature MagSafe and ditch Lightning in favor of an all-wireless future.
Apple’s confusing array of ports hasn’t gone unnoticed. On the latest iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, and AirPods models, Apple offers customers four completely different types of chargers to charge their devices. Bloomberg’s Marc Gurman pointed out the inconsistency in its Power On newsletter last August. As Gurman noted at the time, “Lightning has served Apple well since 2012, but USB-C has clearly won out in the industry and become the default connector for new devices.”