Sep 10, 2023
It’s faster and universal (kinda) SellWell / Getty Images Apple's next iPhone might finally ditch the Lightning connector, and some experts are cheering. This fall, Apple is gearing up to reveal its
It’s faster and universal (kinda)
SellWell / Getty Images
Apple's next iPhone might finally ditch the Lightning connector, and some experts are cheering.
This fall, Apple is gearing up to reveal its upcoming generation of devices, and speculation suggests that the high-end iPhone 15 models will showcase significant advancements, including a USB-C port. Some say the move away from Lightning is long overdue.
"USB-C is a universal standard embraced by various manufacturers, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of devices beyond Apple products," tech analyst Mark Vena told Lifewire in an email interview. "Also, USB-C supports faster data transfer rates and higher power delivery, allowing for quicker charging and data syncing."
An iPhone with USB-C would be a win for users due to its versatility and convenience, Vena said. Its reversible design ensures easy plugging without worrying about orientation. USB-C would also eliminate the need for multiple cables and adapters.
"Its compatibility with various devices makes it an essential connector for modern tech enthusiasts, simplifying connectivity and enhancing the overall user experience," he added.
USB connectors of the past, such as mini and micro USB, always had a number of drawbacks, Steven Athwal, the managing director of The Big Phone Store, noted in an email. He said that older USB connectors were easily broken and limited in terms of how much power and data could be transferred.
Until USB-C was launched, Apple's proprietary Lightning connector was a sturdier, faster, and more reliable alternative for iPhones, Athwal said. Lightning has a simplified, reversible 8-pin connector type that can be inserted either way up, he pointed out.
"Since the launch of USB-C, this connector has now become an almost universal standard for Android phones in a very short space of time—and these new connectors, which can transmit even more power and data than ever before, have fully caught up to Apple's Lightning connector in almost every way," he added.
... these new connectors, which can transmit even more power and data than ever before, have fully caught up to Apple's Lightning connector in almost every way.
USB-C is capable of faster data transfer speeds than Lightning, which is limited to a maximum speed of less than 500Mbps, Athwal said. It also supports fast charging up to 100W as standard, compared to Apple's current 20W fast charging through its Lightning connectors.
But there are some downsides to switching away from Lightning. After the switch to USB-C, Apple is expected to continue their practice of "Made for iPhone" (MFi) certification, Athwal said. Apple uses software to check whether the cable is genuine, which they say can protect users from the phone becoming damaged by a low-quality cable.
"However, despite your other USB-C cables having exactly the same connector, you won't necessarily be able to switch between them, and it's possible that users could become confused between which of their USB-C cables is iPhone-compatible," he added. "This could cancel out the increased cross-compatibility you get by having one universal connector type."
The wide variety of USB-C cables on the market, with varying levels of quality, may not always provide the expected charging or data transfer speeds, Vena said. The change means you might have to invest in new cables and adapters.
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"The main disadvantage is that users with Lightning accessories or cables will find them incompatible without an adapter," Jason Wise, the chief editor of the gadget site EarthWeb, said in an email interview. "This might initially lead to some inconvenience and extra costs for users who have heavily invested in Lightning devices."
If the rumors prove accurate, USB-C isn't the only upgrade coming to the iPhone 15 lineup.
One report states that the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will boast slightly larger displays, measuring 6.12 and 6.69 inches, respectively, owing to slimmer bezels. They will also have an A16 chipset and Dynamic Island design. As for the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max versions, they will be equipped with a cutting-edge 3nm A17 chip, ultra-thin bezels, a titanium chassis, new battery technology, WiFi 6E support, and increased RAM.
"Apple typically keeps its upcoming product details confidential until the official announcement," Vena said. "However, based on previous trends, users might expect improvements in camera technology, processing power, and battery life. Additionally, advancements in display technology, 5G support, and software features could be anticipated in the new iPhones, offering an enhanced user experience."
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