Apple's 2019 iPhone lineup may mark the end of the Lightning connector

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 12
Apple could replace the Lightning port in its 2019 iPhone and iPad releases, a supply chain report claims, suggesting Apple is likely to give up on using its proprietary connection in its flagship products.




Anonymous sources from "analog IC vendors" informed DigiTimes of the potential changes, including a redesign of chargers and related connections in its next-generation mobile devices. The report doesn't specifically confirm a change from Lightning to USB-C will take place, but strongly suggests Apple is considering making the switch in the future.

This is not the first time rumors of a move from Lightning to USB Type-C has surfaced, as reports ahead of last year's launch of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X advised it was a possibility. The iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X were all equipped with Lightning ports at the time of launch.

The report adds that other rumors suggest a replacement of the connector will take place during the 2018 iPhone refresh, but doubts this to be the case. Apple is claimed to be in the "redesign phase" of the 2018 models, a stage in preproduction that does not allow for major specification changes, with sources suggesting this pushes any switch to USB-C to the 2019 models.

While a number of Android smartphones are already using USB Type-C instead of microUSB, the report sources suggest Apple's adoption of the port will prompt other manufacturers to do the same. The sources cite a claim that Apple's use of USB Type-C in the MacBook lines has encouraged other notebook producers to use the technology in their own releases.

For the moment, Apple does not have a major incentive to move to a USB Type-C connection for the iPhone. While USB-C offers fast-charging capabilities, iPhone X and iPhone 8 users are able to take advantage of this technology by using a USB-C-to-Lightning cable with a 30-watt USB-C power adapter.

A rumor from May suggests Apple is already looking to provide iPhone users an 18-watt USB-C charger, which would enable users to enjoy fast charging straight away, without needing to buy the cable and a suitable charger separately. If true, this would be a major step towards adding USB-C to the iPhone itself.

If Apple does make the change to USB-C, it would have a considerable impact on peripheral and accessory producers, forcing them to redesign their products to accommodate the connection, and to find ways to adapt their existing offerings.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 62
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,523member
    I'm highly suspicious of this, but it does make a lot of sense. If anything, it would cut down on the adapters needed for all of our devices. Although I wonder what would happen if you were to plug a 2019 iPhone into a 15-inch MacBook Pro USB-C charger?
  • Reply 2 of 62
    smalmsmalm Posts: 652member
    A rumor from May suggests Apple is already looking to provide iPhone users an 18-watt USB-C charger, which would enable users to enjoy fast charging straight away, without needing to buy the cable and a suitable charger separately. If true, this would be a major step towards adding USB-C to the iPhone itself. 
    Why would that be a major step towards USB-C in the iPhone? That's just an assertion without any explanation.
    netmageRayz2016Alex1N
  • Reply 3 of 62
    19831983 Posts: 1,059member
    Digitimes...enough said. Although there is a logic to this.
    redgeminipanetmagemagman1979lovemnRayz2016Alex1Ncornchip
  • Reply 4 of 62
    I have to wonder if fast charging phone batteries will shorten their lives as must as it can do with some Electric Car Batteries?
    I know that the chemical composition is different but it would be nice to know.
    mike1slprescottstevenozminicoffeewatto_cobraAlex1Ncornchip
  • Reply 5 of 62
    When does Apple care about peripheral producers....

    with Qii charging becoming a std, and wireless backups/updates also a direction Apple is driving, one would think the number of cables sold for charging/data-xfer will drop in general.  Yes, one will need a cable, and using a USB C to C cable would make total sense (and changing the wall wart to a USB-C as well).  iPads, iPhones, Macs would all share the same cable.    dropping the C-Lightning cable is one less SKU.  

    Heck, if they built a Mac mini with an SSD, they could probably live well within a 100W cable and likely a 65 W wall wart, which seems to be a great way to simplify/shrink  a lot of systems (Apple TV as well) and lower repair costs (power supply failures are a thing).   Yes, the cable would be $29.99, but it would be 'one cable' that you could use on everything from your laptop to your charging mat to driving a Monitor, or even a sound subsystem. 


    One Cable to Rule them All.

    If I were building a dock, I'd build one with a 120V 2A (150W) power supply with 4 powered USB C connections, able to drive a Mac Laptop (60W), a monitor (30W), and an external disk storage (40W)., and have a powered port for charging other devices.  
    Alex1Nchasm
  • Reply 6 of 62
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,421member
    Doesn't seem to make any sense to change away from Lightning.  As noted, it is possible for iPhones to have fast charging provided it is a USB-C at the other end and the right power adapter.  What other benefits are there (other than "I don't have to carry a separate cable for my other theoretical devices...")?

    I would say the next move Apple makes is to do away with such a port completely - going with inductive charging completely and high speed wireless.  That might not be for a number of years, but switching to USB-C on the iPhone itself seems an "un-Apple" move.
    redgeminipanetmagestevenozRayz2016pscooter63Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 62
    GG1GG1 Posts: 190member
    The Lightning cable is both elegant (mechanically and electrically symmetrical) and robust (thick "tongue"). USB-A is probably the worst connector, as it appears mechanically symmetrical but is not due to the offset tongue (it is not reversible). USB-C is symmetrical but still has that fragile tongue.

    If Apple do change the Lightning connector, I hope it is an iteration on it, and not a change to USB-C.



    orthiconmike1randominternetpersonmattinozwatto_cobraAlex1Ncornchip
  • Reply 8 of 62
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,523member
    While USB-C offers fast-charging capabilities, iPhone X and iPhone 8 users are able to take advantage of this technology by using a USB-C-to-Lightning cable with a 30-watt USB-C power adapter. 
    But that would set you back $70, right? $50 for the power adapter and $20 for the USB-C to Lightning cable. That a boatload of money just to enable fast charging support IMHO.
    netmagejbdragonAlex1Ncornchip
  • Reply 9 of 62
    Not happening. If anything, Apple with start to include the USB-C to Lightning. USB-C ports are physically larger than Lightning, taking up valuable space inside an iOS device. 

    My MacBook has USB-C, and I HATE plugging it in. Compared to Lightning, it's cumbersome, and feels fragile. 
    magman1979bb-15watto_cobraAlex1Ncornchip
  • Reply 10 of 62
    jameskatt2jameskatt2 Posts: 694member
    I'm suspicious of this since USB-C adapters may make the iPhone much more vulnerable to hacking.
    watto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 11 of 62
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,121administrator
    I'm suspicious of this since USB-C adapters may make the iPhone much more vulnerable to hacking.
    ... what? Why is that?
    netmageCesar Battistini MazierojbdragongatorguyAlex1Ncornchip
  • Reply 12 of 62
    tshapitshapi Posts: 280member
    Apple will not just switch to usb-c. Apple could start including usb-c to lighting in all the boxes.  Apple has always specifically created accessories that were different. So Apple probably would create a specific standard or a usb-c to lightning.

    if apple was to phase out the lightning I think they could try to make the smart connector more universal.  Although I think it’s components are too big for the iPhone, becuase why else would they not have create a “pro” line and included it by now. 
    edited June 12 watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 62
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,675member
    brucemc said:
    Doesn't seem to make any sense to change away from Lightning.  As noted, it is possible for iPhones to have fast charging provided it is a USB-C at the other end and the right power adapter.  What other benefits are there (other than "I don't have to carry a separate cable for my other theoretical devices...")?

    I would say the next move Apple makes is to do away with such a port completely - going with inductive charging completely and high speed wireless.  That might not be for a number of years, but switching to USB-C on the iPhone itself seems an "un-Apple" move.

    Wireless charging is not for everyone. Personally, not being able to use the phone or iPad while it's charging is a major problem for me.
    edited June 12 jbdragondysamoriabaconstanganantksundaramwatto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 14 of 62
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,061member
    mike1 said:
    brucemc said:
    Doesn't seem to make any sense to change away from Lightning.  As noted, it is possible for iPhones to have fast charging provided it is a USB-C at the other end and the right power adapter.  What other benefits are there (other than "I don't have to carry a separate cable for my other theoretical devices...")?

    I would say the next move Apple makes is to do away with such a port completely - going with inductive charging completely and high speed wireless.  That might not be for a number of years, but switching to USB-C on the iPhone itself seems an "un-Apple" move.

    Wireless charging is not for everyone. Personally, not being able to use the phone or iPad while it's charging is a major problem for me.
    To be clear, you’re saying you’re against this because you think you can’t use an iPhone X while it’s charging wirelessly?
    edited June 12
  • Reply 15 of 62
    mac_128 said:
    mike1 said:
    brucemc said:
    Doesn't seem to make any sense to change away from Lightning.  As noted, it is possible for iPhones to have fast charging provided it is a USB-C at the other end and the right power adapter.  What other benefits are there (other than "I don't have to carry a separate cable for my other theoretical devices...")?

    I would say the next move Apple makes is to do away with such a port completely - going with inductive charging completely and high speed wireless.  That might not be for a number of years, but switching to USB-C on the iPhone itself seems an "un-Apple" move.

    Wireless charging is not for everyone. Personally, not being able to use the phone or iPad while it's charging is a major problem for me.
    To be clear, you’re saying you’re against this because you think you can’t use an iPhone X while it’s charging?
    I think mike1 is saying that wireless charging means one cannot easily use a phone while charging whereas wired charging means one can use the phone while charging.  Which is absolutely correct and a big part of many people's workflow.
    netmagemike1jbdragondysamoriarandominternetpersonbaconstangmacguipscooter63anantksundaramcgWerks
  • Reply 16 of 62
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,523member
    mac_128 said:
    mike1 said:
    brucemc said:
    Doesn't seem to make any sense to change away from Lightning.  As noted, it is possible for iPhones to have fast charging provided it is a USB-C at the other end and the right power adapter.  What other benefits are there (other than "I don't have to carry a separate cable for my other theoretical devices...")?

    I would say the next move Apple makes is to do away with such a port completely - going with inductive charging completely and high speed wireless.  That might not be for a number of years, but switching to USB-C on the iPhone itself seems an "un-Apple" move.

    Wireless charging is not for everyone. Personally, not being able to use the phone or iPad while it's charging is a major problem for me.
    To be clear, you’re saying you’re against this because you can’t use an iPhone X while it’s charging?
    For me, yes. I have a wireless charger on my nightstand for my iPhone X and a 10-ft Lightning cable that I also use for charging. I usually fall asleep in bed flipping through my iPhone. Considering that I normally doze off somewhere in between browsing on my phone, the wireless charging pad has become useless to me -- I just wake up with a dead phone by pillow. But when I plug it in to the charger at night, I can still lay in bed, browse, fall asleep, let it charge and wakeup in the morning with a topped off device.

    The only time I really use the wireless charger is in the car, where I am not actively using the phone.
    jbdragoncgWerkswatto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 17 of 62
    Supply chain rumor equals groundless rumor. Take with a large grain of salt.
    lkruppmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 18 of 62
    2old4fun2old4fun Posts: 196member
    mazda 3s said:
    While USB-C offers fast-charging capabilities, iPhone X and iPhone 8 users are able to take advantage of this technology by using a USB-C-to-Lightning cable with a 30-watt USB-C power adapter. 
    But that would set you back $70, right? $50 for the power adapter and $20 for the USB-C to Lightning cable. That a boatload of money just to enable fast charging support IMHO.
    Amazon has Anker Charger with 60W 5-Port, 1- 30W USB-C, 4 - USB-A for $36.99. I currently have two of them and they work well. Amazon also has several USB-C to Lightning cables from $9.99.
  • Reply 19 of 62
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,675member
    mac_128 said:
    mike1 said:
    brucemc said:
    Doesn't seem to make any sense to change away from Lightning.  As noted, it is possible for iPhones to have fast charging provided it is a USB-C at the other end and the right power adapter.  What other benefits are there (other than "I don't have to carry a separate cable for my other theoretical devices...")?

    I would say the next move Apple makes is to do away with such a port completely - going with inductive charging completely and high speed wireless.  That might not be for a number of years, but switching to USB-C on the iPhone itself seems an "un-Apple" move.

    Wireless charging is not for everyone. Personally, not being able to use the phone or iPad while it's charging is a major problem for me.
    To be clear, you’re saying you’re against this because you think you can’t use an iPhone X while it’s charging?
    I think mike1 is saying that wireless charging means one cannot easily use a phone while charging whereas wired charging means one can use the phone while charging.  Which is absolutely correct and a big part of many people's workflow.
    What he said.
    watto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 20 of 62
    gutengelgutengel Posts: 80member
    I don't really see Apple dropping the lightning connector. Lightning is smaller, more robust/durable, better designed than USB-C, plus MFi program makes some bucks to Apple while they can do some quality control. I would say they'd go completely wireless after lighting.

    However, it'd be pretty cool if they implemented the Smart Connector (from the iPad Pro) across the line as support and accessory port, but it doesn't feel like they are really pushing that connector into the market.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobraAlex1Ncornchip
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