All of Apple's 2017 iPhones will include fast charging via Lightning port, not USB-C

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2017
While the underlying technology behind the charging may change, the Lightning port will remain on all of Apple's three new iPhones coming later this year -- including the flagship "iPhone 8" --?according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities.


'iPhone 8' concept rendering by Marek Weidlich.


Apple is expected to utilize "Type-C Power Delivery" technology in this year's iPhones, Kuo said in a research note on Thursday, a copy of which was obtained by AppleInsider. The note specifically refutes a questionable claim made earlier this week by The Wall Street Journal, which suggested Apple could ditch the Lightning port with this year's "iPhone 8," instead switching to the same USB-C port found on the company's latest MacBooks.

That rumor was unlikely for a number of reasons, including a lack of clear advantages in changing the connector type. But one key advantage instead lies in the underlying technology, which can be integrated into Apple's own proprietary Lightning port.



Kuo noted that safety and stable data transmission during a fast charge are crucial elements for Apple to nail in the switch. He believes the company will adopt power management from Texas Instruments and power delivery chips from Cypress.

In addition, the high-end "iPhone 8" may boast even faster charging thanks to a 2-cell L-shaped battery pack design. Still, "Type-C Power Delivery" is expected on all three handsets this year.

Kuo noted that one potential advantage for switching to USB-C would be faster transfer of high-definition videos. However, he said that high-speed data transmission is a "niche application" for the iPhone, which is why Apple will stick with the Lightning port.

The Lightning port is slightly thinner than USB-C. It also allows Apple to collect royalties on its Made for iPhone program, which licenses use of the Lightning port.

As AppleInsider noted earlier this week, Apple has doubled down on Lightning accessories in the last few years, making abandonment of the port on its flagship device extremely unlikely. Use of the proprietary connector has expanded from "iDevices" to accessories, including the Apple Pencil, Apple TV Siri Remote, AirPods, and BeatsX headphones, among others.

Instead, it's more likely that Apple might switch to a USB-C connector on the opposite end of the Lightning cable that ships in the box. That would allow users to plug their "iPhone 8" into one of the company's new MacBook Pros, or the 12-inch MacBook.

Beyond fast charging via Lightning, Apple is also expected to introduce contact-based wireless charging for all three iPhone models this year, including the "iPhone 7s" and "iPhone 7s Plus." The addition would allow users to juice their device by simply placing it on a compatible charging pad.

'iPhone 8' concept image by Moe Slah.
'iPhone 8' concept image by Moe Slah.


The flagship "iPhone 8" is expected to stand out in a number of ways, including its price tag, rumored to start above $1,000. The handset is said to feature an all-new, all-glass exterior with a curved OLED display that will embed components like Touch ID, the earpiece and the FaceTime camera into or beneath the screen.

The forward-facing camera is also expected to see a major overhaul with "revolutionary" 3D facial recognition technology, allowing for a new secure biometric login method. The device is also expected to ditch the physical home button that has been found on every iPhone to date, replacing it with a display function area below the OLED panel, dedicated to system functions with virtual buttons.

The "iPhone 8," "7s," and "7s Plus" are all expected to debut in Apple's usual September timeframe. The "iPhone 7s" series is believed to feature largely the same design and form factor as the current iPhone 7 lineup, allowing the premium "iPhone 8" design to stand out.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 75
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,875member
    What happened to reputable WSJ article ? Anyway, either lightening or USB Type-C, I hope connector inside these ports are made/build strong to last against daily multiple insertions of not only charging but also audio headphone/earphone plug in the same port/hole.
    edited March 2017 xzubaconstang
  • Reply 2 of 75
    The royalties Apple collects through its Made for iPhone program are but a tiny drop in the bucket in comparison to other revenue streams. I don't believe Apple would keep Lightning just because of that. For Apple to move from Lightning to USB-C, there'd have to be major advantages regarding usability, etc. 
    StrangeDayslolliverwatto_cobrasmiffy31
  • Reply 3 of 75
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    The royalties Apple collects through its Made for iPhone program are but a tiny drop in the bucket in comparison to other revenue streams. I don't believe Apple would keep Lightning just because of that. For Apple to move from Lightning to USB-C, there'd have to be major advantages regarding usability, etc. 
    The major disadvantage is that cheap, dangerous cables will be even more prolific with USB-C. 

    The transfer speed isn't much of an issue since most users don't plug in their iPhone to transfer data. 

    The next port change for the iPhone will be no port at all. 
    edited March 2017 paxmanxzupatchythepirateandrewj5790macxpresslolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 75

    Instead, it's more likely that Apple might switch to a USB-C connector on the opposite end of the Lightning cable that ships in the box. That would allow users to plug their "iPhone 8" into one of the company's new MacBook Pros, or the 12-inch MacBook.

    ...and nothing else in the entire world? Nope, not happening.
  • Reply 5 of 75
    smaffeismaffei Posts: 211member
    The royalties Apple collects through its Made for iPhone program are but a tiny drop in the bucket in comparison to other revenue streams. I don't believe Apple would keep Lightning just because of that. For Apple to move from Lightning to USB-C, there'd have to be major advantages regarding usability, etc. 
    You're kidding, right? Apple makes a ton off of selling cables and chargers. If fact, they recommend you use only Apple charging / synch cables. Using cheap 3rd part cables / chargers could possibly invalidate your warranty if the phone gets damaged from charging (and Apple can prove it), The profit margin on their cables is HUGE!
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 6 of 75
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,683member
    Why is Lightning and USB-C being billed as an either/or. I'd like to see Lighting on the device with double-pins and a USB 3.x chipset, USB-C on the PSU, and a cable to match.
    xzupscooter63roundaboutnowwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 75
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member
    Rayz2016 said:
    The royalties Apple collects through its Made for iPhone program are but a tiny drop in the bucket in comparison to other revenue streams. I don't believe Apple would keep Lightning just because of that. For Apple to move from Lightning to USB-C, there'd have to be major advantages regarding usability, etc. 
    The major disadvantage is that cheap, dangerous cables will be even more prolific with USB-C. 

    The transfer speed isn't much of an issue since most users don't plug in their iPhone to transfer data. 

    The next port change for the iPhone will be no port at all. 
    But it is not Apple's job to stop people using cheap cables. They can educate us, but that's about it imo. I'm all for standardization when it comes to connectivity and cables.
    I agree that the next, or at least the best, port will be no port. For access when wireless charging and connectivity fails or for higher speed connectivity all phones should include the 'smart connectors', of course. 
  • Reply 8 of 75
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,840member
    paxman said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    The royalties Apple collects through its Made for iPhone program are but a tiny drop in the bucket in comparison to other revenue streams. I don't believe Apple would keep Lightning just because of that. For Apple to move from Lightning to USB-C, there'd have to be major advantages regarding usability, etc. 
    The major disadvantage is that cheap, dangerous cables will be even more prolific with USB-C. 

    The transfer speed isn't much of an issue since most users don't plug in their iPhone to transfer data. 

    The next port change for the iPhone will be no port at all. 
    But it is not Apple's job to stop people using cheap cables. They can educate us, but that's about it imo. I'm all for standardization when it comes to connectivity and cables.
    I agree that the next, or at least the best, port will be no port. For access when wireless charging and connectivity fails or for higher speed connectivity all phones should include the 'smart connectors', of course. 
    The real problem is that non-Apple chargers can overcharge the battery, causing the phone to catch on fire or explode. Use the Apple charger.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 75
    viclauyycviclauyyc Posts: 340member
    Isn't Apple think the USB C is the chosen one? And the next gen. iPhone will not match the 2016 MBP!? This is unthinkable backwards to obsolete a technology. Oh humanity...
  • Reply 10 of 75
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    paxman said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    The royalties Apple collects through its Made for iPhone program are but a tiny drop in the bucket in comparison to other revenue streams. I don't believe Apple would keep Lightning just because of that. For Apple to move from Lightning to USB-C, there'd have to be major advantages regarding usability, etc. 
    The major disadvantage is that cheap, dangerous cables will be even more prolific with USB-C. 

    The transfer speed isn't much of an issue since most users don't plug in their iPhone to transfer data. 

    The next port change for the iPhone will be no port at all. 
    But it is not Apple's job to stop people using cheap cables. They can educate us, but that's about it imo. I'm all for standardization when it comes to connectivity and cables.
    I agree that the next, or at least the best, port will be no port. For access when wireless charging and connectivity fails or for higher speed connectivity all phones should include the 'smart connectors', of course. 
    It's Apple's job to do whatever it can to prevent people being killed by their own stupidity while holding an iPhone. This is why we have safety regulations: because people are stupid. 
    baconstangai46lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 75
    Soli said:
    Why is Lightning and USB-C being billed as an either/or. I'd like to see Lighting on the device with double-pins and a USB 3.x chipset, USB-C on the PSU, and a cable to match.
    You're suggesting the single port would accept both Lightning and USB-C, if the controller was done properly and the port opening adjusted accordingly? THAT is very interesting. THAT is some real fine genuine outside the box thinking.

    That would be a seriously respectable transition strategy.
  • Reply 12 of 75
    smaffei said:
    The royalties Apple collects through its Made for iPhone program are but a tiny drop in the bucket in comparison to other revenue streams. I don't believe Apple would keep Lightning just because of that. For Apple to move from Lightning to USB-C, there'd have to be major advantages regarding usability, etc. 
    You're kidding, right? Apple makes a ton off of selling cables and chargers. If fact, they recommend you use only Apple charging / synch cables. Using cheap 3rd part cables / chargers could possibly invalidate your warranty if the phone gets damaged from charging (and Apple can prove it), The profit margin on their cables is HUGE!
    I didn't say anything about the profit margin, which I'm sure is substantial, but overall revenues for Made for iPhone have to be tiny compared to other products. 

    I use Apple chargers and cables or Made for iPhone chargers and cables, because they are superior in quality to cheap ones. There's no good reason to use the knockoffs --> see various stories involving iPhones, etc., being destroyed because of using cheap, crappy cables / chargers.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 75
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,683member
    Rayz2016 said:
    paxman said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    The royalties Apple collects through its Made for iPhone program are but a tiny drop in the bucket in comparison to other revenue streams. I don't believe Apple would keep Lightning just because of that. For Apple to move from Lightning to USB-C, there'd have to be major advantages regarding usability, etc. 
    The major disadvantage is that cheap, dangerous cables will be even more prolific with USB-C. 

    The transfer speed isn't much of an issue since most users don't plug in their iPhone to transfer data. 

    The next port change for the iPhone will be no port at all. 
    But it is not Apple's job to stop people using cheap cables. They can educate us, but that's about it imo. I'm all for standardization when it comes to connectivity and cables.
    I agree that the next, or at least the best, port will be no port. For access when wireless charging and connectivity fails or for higher speed connectivity all phones should include the 'smart connectors', of course. 
    It's Apple's job to do whatever it can to prevent people being killed by their own stupidity while holding an iPhone. This is why we have safety regulations: because people are stupid. 
    It also goes beyond personal responsibility or legal requirements. There is also a financial incentive for Apple to create safer equipment because of their wealth and mindshare making them easy targets for lawsuits. Even when there's an issue that doesn't directly involve an Apple product we still see the media reference Apple because that gets the most attention, and we know that Apple will get sued much quicker than equipment failures from something unknown like Shenzhen Electronics Company, which I just made up.

    Unfortunately, this mean we pay more for Apple products for an en expectations of legal fees, more intense testing, and paying for better components, but the latter two I'm happy to pay for, assuming it's not done to excess so that the net gain is, say, less than 0.00001% while being an increase in component testing by, say, 100 fold.
    patchythepiratewatto_cobraRayz2016
  • Reply 14 of 75
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,848member
    smaffei said:
    The royalties Apple collects through its Made for iPhone program are but a tiny drop in the bucket in comparison to other revenue streams. I don't believe Apple would keep Lightning just because of that. For Apple to move from Lightning to USB-C, there'd have to be major advantages regarding usability, etc. 
    You're kidding, right? Apple makes a ton off of selling cables and chargers. If fact, they recommend you use only Apple charging / synch cables. Using cheap 3rd part cables / chargers could possibly invalidate your warranty if the phone gets damaged from charging (and Apple can prove it), The profit margin on their cables is HUGE!
    That has nothing whatsoever to do with the MFi program. MFi allows third parties to license and purchase the requisite connectors and chips to allow compatibility with iOS devices. All those speaker docks with 30-pin connectors (and then Lightning), all the legitimate 3rd-party cables and chargers, all the aftermarket car radios that support CarPlay but before that allowed you to connect and control an iPod or iPhone are part of the MFi program.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 75
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,473member
    Fast charging should have been designed into the iPhone 7. It seems it will be available in the autumn with the new phones. It's one of the little big features that make mobile life better. Definitely a plus of the best kind.
    ireland
  • Reply 16 of 75
    avon b7 said:
    Fast charging should have been designed into the iPhone 7. It seems it will be available in the autumn with the new phones. It's one of the little big features that make mobile life better. Definitely a plus of the best kind.
    Can't see it ever being of use to me. The 7 Plus lasts all day and then some, and the 8 will be even better. I've never once charged the 7 Plus except docking it at night.
    mike1brucemcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 75
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,683member
    Soli said:
    Why is Lightning and USB-C being billed as an either/or. I'd like to see Lighting on the device with double-pins and a USB 3.x chipset, USB-C on the PSU, and a cable to match.
    You're suggesting the single port would accept both Lightning and USB-C, if the controller was done properly and the port opening adjusted accordingly? THAT is very interesting. THAT is some real fine genuine outside the box thinking.

    That would be a seriously respectable transition strategy.
    Lighting and the previous 30-pin connector supported USB from the start. What I stated is Lightning on the iDevice and USB-C on the PSU, with a USB-C-to-Lightning cable connecting them, just like we now have USB-A on the PSU and a USB-A-to-Lightning cable connecting them. I also stated that I'd like to see the iDevice and cable updated to allow USB 3.x speeds.

    If you're suggesting that the physical port interface could be made to work as both a USB-C and Lightning port interface, I don't think that's possible, nor do I see a benefit from Apple's PoV even if it was possible without any connectivity issues.
    tmaylolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 75
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,096member
    avon b7 said:
    Fast charging should have been designed into the iPhone 7. 
    Ah yeah, the classic "this new feature should have been there last year" trope. Uh huh. It's all so easy when engineering inside your head, isn't it?
    edited March 2017 pscooter63chiatmaysuddenly newtonlolliverwatto_cobraRayz2016
  • Reply 19 of 75
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,096member
    smaffei said:
    The royalties Apple collects through its Made for iPhone program are but a tiny drop in the bucket in comparison to other revenue streams. I don't believe Apple would keep Lightning just because of that. For Apple to move from Lightning to USB-C, there'd have to be major advantages regarding usability, etc. 
    You're kidding, right? Apple makes a ton off of selling cables and chargers. If fact, they recommend you use only Apple charging / synch cables. Using cheap 3rd part cables / chargers could possibly invalidate your warranty if the phone gets damaged from charging (and Apple can prove it), The profit margin on their cables is HUGE!
    Do you have any links or data to back up those claims?

    Also, MFI cables don't invalidate any warranties. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 75
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,820member
    smaffei said:
    The royalties Apple collects through its Made for iPhone program are but a tiny drop in the bucket in comparison to other revenue streams. I don't believe Apple would keep Lightning just because of that. For Apple to move from Lightning to USB-C, there'd have to be major advantages regarding usability, etc. 
    You're kidding, right? Apple makes a ton off of selling cables and chargers. If fact, they recommend you use only Apple charging / synch cables. Using cheap 3rd part cables / chargers could possibly invalidate your warranty if the phone gets damaged from charging (and Apple can prove it), The profit margin on their cables is HUGE!

    Umm that's not true... Apple recommends using any accessories certified through their MFi program, they do not specifically recommend, "Apple only". And yes the profit margin is huge on Apple's accessories, but as the other poster said, it's still a tiny drop in the bucket of overall sales.

    Apple charges more for two reasons...
    1. They pretty much use the highest quality components.
    2. Leaving space at a lower price tier allows 3rd parties to come in and offer an alternative - this is how you build viable markets around your products. 

    Apple could almost certainly offer anything and everything any 3rd party vendor could, but they choose not to. Instead they offer a platform by which others can build on top of. This is how you create, build and maintain a thriving ecosystem. Offering it all yourself, leaves little room for others to invest in your platform/ecosystem. This is why, even though there are 4-5 times more Android devices in the world, the iOS ecosystem is by far much, much larger and desirable.
    StrangeDayspscooter63brucemcbestkeptsecretwatto_cobra
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