iPhone move from Lightning to USB-C cable would cause a storm

28 Feb 2017

Jet black iPhone. Image: Vasin Lee/Shutterstock

Is Apple planning to drop the Lightning connector on the next iPhone?

The rumour mill has been electrified by the very suggestion that Apple’s next iPhone series will no longer come with the Lightning connector, but a USB-C port instead.

A report in the The Wall Street Journal claims that Apple will launch three new iPhone devices this year: two iPhones with LCD displays and a third ‘10th-anniversary edition’ iPhone with a curved OLED screen.

According to the report, the new iPhone device will “do away with a physical home button”.

The biggest change being suggested would be the connector.

Like a bolt from the blue

“Apple would introduce other updates, including a USB-C port for the power cord and other peripheral devices instead of the company’s original Lightning connector,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Lightning connector was first introduced in 2012 with the iPhone 5.

At the time, the move caused a lot of debate, especially amongst phone owners who had chargers and accessories such as speaker docks optimised for the original iPhone charging port.

But Apple being Apple, it ignored the howls of protest and eventually, consumers accepted the change over time.

However, a move to USB-C could once again compromise an entire ecosystem of peripherals and gadgets that have grown up around the Lightning connector.

The move is not without merit.

Apple’s most recent MacBook Pro devices came with USB-C connectivity and increasingly, the smartphone industry is relying on USB-C for syncing and charging.

The change to the new port could enable Apple iPhone owners to connect their device directly to their MacBooks for power and data transfer.

As usual, only Apple really knows. But it is a tantalising topic for debate.

Jet black iPhone. Image: Vasin Lee/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years