How long before Apple ditches Lightning port completely?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Sovon Halder, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. Sovon Halder macrumors 6502

    Sovon Halder

    Dec 3, 2016
    Just curious.

    A year or maybe two or three? How long before Apple ditches their proprietary lightning interface completely from all of their devices that currently use it?
  2. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    Nobody knows. Ask Tim.

    If it lasts as long as the 30pin dock connector, we've got 3 more years.

    That's feasible if we go full out with wireless charging and drop any sort of connector. But for integrated devices... having a physically connector as a last ditch save the device firmware load is often seen as critical. I'd guess lightning will outlast the 30pin dock, so lets say we probably have 5-13 years with it.

    It's smaller than USB Type C. Supports fast charging and USB3 speed. There's nothing about it that even hints like it needs to be deprecated, and it's a better interface than anything else on the market.
  3. unibility macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2012
  4. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    No one knows for sure. But I do see Apple retaining lightning for a while yet. Mainly because how ubiquitous it is with the iPad, AirPods, iPhone, iPod and now the Airpower when it releases will be lightning enabled as well.
  5. bigjnyc macrumors 603


    Apr 10, 2008
    I don't know but for whats it's worth I have not used the lightning port a single time since I got my iPhone X... its been all wireless charging and bluetooth headphones.
  6. KrisLord macrumors 65816

    Sep 12, 2008
    Northumberland, UK
    I don’t think it’ll go anywhere for years.

    There’s minimal benefit in switching to USB-C and it’s still the primary charging method for most people.

    I use AirPods and wireless charging. Lightning is only used in the car as CarPlay requires a wired connection (in my car and most others)
  7. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
  8. maka344 macrumors 65816


    Nov 4, 2009
    London, UK
    When they can do true wireless charging and end iTunes.
  9. fischersd macrumors 601


    Oct 23, 2014
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
    Well, if they ditch iTunes, they'll need to give us Apple Music and TV apps for the Mac.

    Me, I think they should keep it until they have an elegant alternative (as a backup for device recovery / DFU mode) - me, I'd like to see seamless glass optics built into the steel band where the lightning port is now (would require a cradle or maybe a magsafe-like connector to connect it to your mac). Such an interface would assist with improved water resistance.
  10. NoBoMac, Dec 7, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017

    NoBoMac macrumors 68000

    Jul 1, 2014
    Don't see it happening for a significant while, primarily due to Apple adopting USB-PD (aka USB-C) charging. Tie it to the investment people have made with Lightning connectors/gizmos, wireless charging not as fast (yet) as connected 12W and higher, not everyone wants to go all wireless (count me in re: headphones/earbuds), and you maintain a secondary charging method when wireless not available or broken... no brainer to keep it alive.

    And this too: need an access port when the need arises.
  11. KingslayerG5 Suspended


    Oct 16, 2017

    Port-less iPhone where charging and headphones is all wireless.
  12. DougFNJ macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2008
    We will have lightning ports until Apple builds up the “courage” to ditch it.

    Seriously though, I think when wireless charging goes more mainstream, and the ability to transfer data can happen wirelessly the way we charge, that may be when it happens. I’m still one that does a full encrypted backup through iTunes and a full restore and sync over 7000 songs plugging in. I would love a single use mat that I could sit the iPhone on, charge, and sync.
  13. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
  14. CTHarrryH macrumors 68000

    Jul 4, 2012
    I can't see them going to no port soon. Very few cars support wireless CarPlay and wireless charging and I would expect it would be a while before many do that. If no port then they would eliminate a major thing they do - Car Play. But then again Apple is Apple.
  15. JPack macrumors 68030


    Mar 27, 2017
    Lightning v2, v3... They will update it to leapfrog USB, not kill it.

    If Apple is making their own application processors, wireless chips, and PMIC, they're not going to use an open-standard connector. If it wasn't invented by Apple, they won't use it, especially on iPhone.
  16. KingslayerG5, Dec 7, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017

    KingslayerG5 Suspended


    Oct 16, 2017
    Jony Ive wants to have an iPhone design made out of a single sheet of glass.


    There will be some growing pains by 2020's when Apple shifts the paradigm again. The Apple Watch, AirPods, and fast wireless charging is still young. Give them at least 4-5 years to mature.

    It took 4 years for Android to grow up. The last 5, it really grew up and then some perhaps more than iOS did. That's where wireless headphones and charging are still are. There will be growing pains even by 2020.

    The only standard I will refuse to adopt is e-sim. I already had a bad experience with Sprint and their ESN nonsense. I don't mind adopting to wireless headphones and charging. But no to e-sim. If that's what Apple and Google will try to standardize, forget it. Gives these greedy carriers more leverage.
  17. _Refurbished_ macrumors 68000


    Mar 23, 2007
    If Apple goes the with its recent “redesign every 4th year”, my guess is four years.

    The iPhone Courage: Wizard of Oz Edition
  18. naturalstar macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2012
    My guess is that Apple will do it with the next major iPhone redesign.
  19. Falhófnir macrumors 68020


    Aug 19, 2017
    Hopefully never as it will likely be to wireless only rather than something sensible like USB C further hampering compatibility of idevices outside apple’s hermetically sealed ecosystem...
  20. Jjayf macrumors 6502

    May 31, 2015
    The lightening port is brilliant! It’s as good as anything out there now, and the best part??

    No wrong way!! No fumbling around in the dark, no flimsy USB C broken ports. It’s all good.
  21. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    As long as they don't make phones which are thinner than the port itself, I think lightning will still be there for 4-5 years.
  22. thesaint024 macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2016
    suspension waiting room
    Agree. Wireless charging isn't where it NEEDS to be. Not totally convenient and not fast enough. I like my wires for headphones still. I have to say that lightning is a pretty good interface. Small, reversible, customizable to anything Apple wants to do with it. I'd prefer full usb-c, but this was widely adopted before usb-c and was superior to everything at the time. Usb-c is nice though, but not holding my breath.
  23. JeffyTheQuik macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2014
    Charleston, SC and Everett, WA
    As far as their customers' investment in Lightning cables goes, I don't think that plays into Apple's thinking.
    When something better is tenable, then it will be released.

    It's not like, all of a sudden, using the 30 pin cable was obsolete. People got a lightning cable with their devices, and they could use the old one as well on their older devices.

    There was no "No Soup for You!" moment with the 30 pin cables.
  24. JohnSFO macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2010
    I guess I’m old fashioned I still like to sync my iPhone with the iMac for backups and downloading new software. Mac is the hub.

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