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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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19,896


Apple will use a Lightning port instead of USB-C in the upcoming "iPhone 12," but it will be the last major series of Apple's flagship phones to do so, with models set to combine wireless charging and a port-less Smart Connector system for data transfer and syncing in the iPhone "13 series" next year.

lightning-usb-c-iphone.jpg

The above claim comes from occasional Apple leaker and Twitter user "Fudge" (@choco_bit), who last month shared alleged leaked iPhone 12 images showing a revised rear camera array with LiDAR scanner, a smaller front notch, and Home screen widgets.

Fudge claims that Apple has tested iPhone prototypes with USB-C ports, but that these models "won't be making it to production." Instead, Apple will stick with Lightning for one more year before replacing the port with a Smart Connector.


Claims of port-less future iPhones aren't new. Apple designers are said to ultimately be aiming to remove most of the external ports and buttons on the iPhone for a clean, streamlined device with fewer points of potential hardware failure.

Indeed, if wireless charging technology improves in the interim, Apple could potentially get rid of wired charging all together - and rumors do indicate Apple will release an iPhone without a Lightning port in 2021.

smartconnector.jpg

According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the highest-end iPhone model coming in 2021 will offer a "completely wireless experience." Charging would, presumably, be done all wirelessly through charging accessories, Qi-based or otherwise. (Whether the 2021 iPhone would be Apple's so-called "iPhone 13" series or an "S"-style revision of this year's upcoming "iPhone 12" is unknown.)

The addition of a Smart Connector, however, is a separate rumor. The use of a Smart Connector could conceivably complete the transition to a totally wireless system for iPhone, with everyday charging and data transfer occurring over induction and wireless, and the Smart Connector providing a way to attach accessories and cover restore and recovery needs via special adapters.


Apple introduced the Smart Connector with the 2015 iPad Pro and updated it for the 2018 redesign. It lies flush with the bezel and has three pins providing power, data, and grounding. It's not impermeable though, which is something that Apple would need to work on to maintain its iPhone water resistance rating.

All of this could of course be irrelevant in the event that Apple surprises everyone and launches an iPhone with USB-C this year, suggesting that's where its future lies for now. Given the course and aim of Apple's iPhone development, that seems unlikely, but we won't know for sure until September or October, when Apple is expected to launch its latest flagship lineup.

Rumors have suggested Apple will complete its transition to an all-OLED iPhone lineup in 2020 with one new 5.4-inch device, two 6.1-inch models, and one 6.7-inch handset. The 6.7-inch ?iPhone? and one 6.1-inch model are thought to be higher-end OLED devices with triple-lens cameras, while the 5.4 and 6.1-inch models will be lower-end iPhones with dual-lens cameras and a more affordable price tag.

Article Link: Leaker: Apple to Stick With Lightning Over USB-C for 'iPhone 12' Before Going Port-Less Next Year
 
Last edited:

tann

macrumors 68000
Apr 15, 2010
1,904
700
UK
This is sad if true, as kills off all wired headphones, dongles, etc that we have? What about fast charging?

Are they going to make you buy airpods or create some weird magnetic headphone dongle?

Just seems like a bad idea getting rid of the port.

I see the appeal of it for charging, but these other issues are big i think.
 
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kb923689

macrumors regular
Oct 31, 2019
126
254
This is sad if true, as kills off all wired headphones, dongles, etc that we have? What about fast charging?

They gonna make you buy airpods or create some weird magnetic headphone dongle?

Just seems like a bad idea getting rid of the port.

I see the appeal of it for charging, but these other issues are big i think.
Imagine how expensive these phones will be with a pair of AirPods out of the box...
 

recoil80

macrumors 68040
Jul 16, 2014
3,117
2,755
If the future is without ports, no need to switch to USB-C for just 1 or 2 years, it would be mostly an inconvenience as iPhone owners have plenty of Lighting cables and accessories.
I like the idea of smart connector, but I hope we'll be able to charge the iPhone this way, in order to have both Qi and wired charging capabilities. I don't think we're ready for a Qi only iPhone
 

goobot

macrumors 603
Jun 26, 2009
6,248
3,629
long island NY
This is just Apple kinda being greedy. They pushed usb c so hard on computers but won’t on phone because they make money off lightning mifi. Now that they are being forced to c they are just going to move to this to keep money coming. Not that smart connector can’t be cool, just wish we had usb c too.
 

baryon

macrumors 68040
Oct 3, 2009
3,734
2,426
How do you wirelessly charge a phone when it's, say, in your car being used for navigation (something I do every day to get to work). I like to take a lightning cable with me everywhere I go, and leave one in my car, and leave one at home, because otherwise I'd eventually not have one when I need it. I doubt wireless chargers would be cheap enough to just buy 3 of. They are also much more bulky than a simple cable.
 

Shanghaichica

macrumors G5
Apr 8, 2013
13,759
11,925
UK
This is sad if true, as kills off all wired headphones, dongles, etc that we have? What about fast charging?

They gonna make you buy airpods or create some weird magnetic headphone dongle?

Just seems like a bad idea getting rid of the port.

I see the appeal of it for charging, but these other issues are big i think.
There is already faster wireless charging than the fastest wired charging that Apple offers.
 

mr_bam

macrumors member
Jun 23, 2003
56
83
Wales, UK
The benefits of having USB-C on iPhones would be huge. Being able to plug in a display and get crisp 4K 60FPS + pair a Bluetooth keyboard + mouse or trackpad would make these really powerful phones with amazing CPUs so much more useful especially if they are still going to call them "Pro" models. I'd happily plug my phone into a USB-C display to sit down and do some work on it. Especially if you were travelling light.
 

swingerofbirch

macrumors 68040
Everyone in my family and myself have had more trouble with Lightning cords than any other cable I've used in nearly 40 years of using tech products. Not sure what it is about them. They are so finicky. Would have preferred to see USB-C, but not sorry to see it go for a smart connector. Can't see how it's worse than buying new lightning cables every month or so.
 
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