Portless 'iPhone 13' could restore iOS without needing a cable

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited February 27
A version of the "iPhone 13" that lacks a Lightning port could force changes to recovery processes, a report claims, with an "Internet Recovery" mode allowing for the reinstallation of iOS without needing to connect the iPhone to a Mac or PC.




Recovering an unresponsive iPhone usually requires it to be connected to another device, typically via the Lightning port on the base. If rumors of a port-less iPhone are true, the lack of a Lightning port or any other standard physical connection may make the device difficult to maintain.

To allow for a complete reinstallation of iOS on an unresponsive iPhone without a distinct physical connection, Apple is allegedly looking at ways to do so. Based on rumors from Appleosophy, the main way to do this is by something tentatively called "Internet Recovery."

Apple's software teams are said to be examining three ways to make the iPhone enter a mode that will allow it to recover.

The first method involves a user putting the iPhone into a manual recovery mode, triggering the Internet Restore broadcast. This is picked up by nearby Macs or a PC with iTunes installed, which will bring up prompts to guide the user through the rest of the restoration.

The second way is for the device itself to enter the mode automatically, again bringing up the same prompts. A third apparently involves using Bluetooth as a "last resort" measure to broadcast the signal and for data transfers.

Apple is thought to be interested in using the first two methods for recovery options, and has apparently been testing the processes for a while. However, it is claimed the processes are currently too slow for public use, indicating more work is needed on the subject.

While wireless recovery options are the main focus of the effort, physical access still isn't being completely forgotten. A hardware team is apparently considering using pogo pads to initiate a physical connection, without requiring a standard port to be available.

Currently, it is suggested Apple could hide the pads at the back of the SIM card slot and use a custom SIM card tray cable to interface with them.

Hidden ports aren't new to Apple, such as the one in the back of the Apple TV as well as the Apple Watch. However, it is claimed the team working on the problem isn't allowed to make housing modifications, such as to shield the pads behind a door or panel, which could make development tougher.

Port-less iPhone rumors have circulated over the years, but have so far yet to be proven right. The relative lack of a track record for the outlet also makes it difficult to consider how genuine the rumor is at this time.

The "iPhone 13" is currently rumored to have an always-on display that could also run at 120Hz, a four-camera system on the back with LiDAR, a minimized notch, and the return of Touch ID.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,973member
    That would mean the end of so many accessories. No more wired headphones, no more display-out, no more microphone in, no more SD card reader, no more cheap iPhone docks, inefficient and expensive battery banks to name a few. I don't understand Apple's obsession with removing ports, especially now Ive has gone. Fine, they're a reliability issue as they're a mechanical part, but so are buttons and the mute switch and the speakers, maybe they should all go too? 
    baconstangrepressthisDogpersonMplsPcornchipMisterKitmuthuk_vanalingamminicoffeejeffharris
  • Reply 2 of 57
    I hope that solution also includes a provision for hard wired connected car players. 
    Dogpersonminicoffeejeffharriswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 57
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,596member
    It's not a bad 'idea' but is it really necessary? Is a single port such a big deal?

    I don't doubt we're heading in that direction but it seems too soon. Especially for iPhone 13.

    What would happen with charging? It would be suicidal to remove wired charging unless something equally fast was available.

    As for the 'slow' restore process. I'm not sure that should be a problem. 

    GeorgeBMacCloudTalkinbaconstangrepressthisJFC_PAbala1234minicoffee
  • Reply 4 of 57
    avon b7 said:
    It's not a bad 'idea' but is it really necessary? Is a single port such a big deal?

    I don't doubt we're heading in that direction but it seems too soon. Especially for iPhone 13.

    What would happen with charging? It would be suicidal to remove wired charging unless something equally fast was available.

    As for the 'slow' restore process. I'm not sure that should be a problem. 

    Not disagreeing, but clarifying.   I would have said:
    ' It would be suicidal to remove wired charging unless something equally fast was widely available."

    While Apple could likely push all homeowners to charge their phones wirelessly, what happens in cars where people depend on wires both to access CarPlay as well as to charge their phones during long trips using AppleMaps.  I haven't seen any statistics but I suspect the number of cars set up for wireless charging in minuscule.

    I too think there is no doubt Apple is headed in a portless direction.  But they have some leg work to do first before they can start on that journey.

    And, part of that may be the auto makers themselves who want to push their own proprietary mobile systems.   They have not been overly quick to install such things as iPhone holders -- particularly ones that can wirelessly charge the phone


    edited February 27 PetrolDave
  • Reply 5 of 57
    I often want to charge while watching a movie. Why take away such a use case? What is the problem of having a port?
    MplsPwilliamlondonPetrolDaveminicoffeeasdasdjeffharris
  • Reply 6 of 57
    The first method involves a user putting the iPhone into a manual recovery mode, triggering the Internet Restore broadcast. This is picked up by nearby Macs or a PC with iTunes installed, which will bring up prompts to guide the user through the rest of the restoration. 

    The second way is for the device itself to enter the mode automatically, again bringing up the same prompts. A third apparently involves using Bluetooth as a "last resort" measure to broadcast the signal and for data transfers. 
    Completely wireless recovery. What could possibly go wrong?

    baconstangDogpersonelijahgMplsPcornchipmuthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondonminicoffeeasdasdjeffharris
  • Reply 7 of 57
    Truly wireless iPhone sounds awesome, as long as it come with some benefits like being much thinner or significantly longer battery life (what else could we get in return?). I’m sure a lot of people would be upset about it, just like many other examples where Apple has used their leverage to push for technology change/evolution for the ecosystems that surround their products. I think we’ll add it to the list of things people think they’ll miss and then 2 years later realize they don’t need (but don’t quote me if they add HDMI back to the MacBook Pro...) 

    As far as charging as you do other stuff goes - try MagSafe! I think people get this impression that you can’t do stuff with your phone when it’s wireless charging and maybe this is true for a lot of Qi chargers, but MagSafe does let you pick up your phone and move it around while continuing to charge. 

    Speaking of MagSafe... is there a missed opportunity here to include data transfer capabilities? I feel like that could sort-of bridge the gap between people doing traditional wired things (think wired CarPlay - which is still the case for many new or 1-2 year old vehicles) and actual wireless technologies. Could even work like an adapter with MagSafe on one side and female lightning on the other. Dongle life! 

    Long story short I would love a port-less iPhone, but I would need some kind of Apple-made, reliable wireless adapter for the wired CarPlay in my 2020 A4.
    repressthisGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 57
    Apple would need something compelling to market a portless iPhone in order to convince consumers. What exactly it the argument when we would be losing so many use-cases? The iP12Pro did an excellent job last year earning the Pro nomenclature. Dolby Vision at a higher frame rate, ProRaw, to name a few, positions this model for a Pro market. iPhones have been used by big studios for films. They rig up an iPhone with all sorts of peripherals. The lightning port makes this possible. Without one, what’s next? Bluetooth, NFC, Smart Connecter like iPad Pro, a new version of MagSafe with data transmission? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 57
    Hank2.0 said:
    The first method involves a user putting the iPhone into a manual recovery mode, triggering the Internet Restore broadcast. This is picked up by nearby Macs or a PC with iTunes installed, which will bring up prompts to guide the user through the rest of the restoration. 

    The second way is for the device itself to enter the mode automatically, again bringing up the same prompts. A third apparently involves using Bluetooth as a "last resort" measure to broadcast the signal and for data transfers. 
    Completely wireless recovery. What could possibly go wrong?
    Are you suggesting things don't go wrong w/ every single device by every manufacturer, today? Clearly they do. 

    Apple has been producing techie marvels for almost as long as I've been alive. If they implement this (despite the handwaving, it's only a rumor at this point), I'm sure they will figure it out. They always do. People deny, people panic, people get mad, and then...acceptance. It is the way.
    tpurdylkruppwilliamlondonRonnnieOwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 57
    Wgkrueger said:
    I hope that solution also includes a provision for hard wired connected car players. 
    Exactly.  They’ll have to pry my CarPlay-capable port phone out of my cold dead hands. 
    GeorgeBMacwilliamlondonPetrolDavewatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 57
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,973member
    Hank2.0 said:
    The first method involves a user putting the iPhone into a manual recovery mode, triggering the Internet Restore broadcast. This is picked up by nearby Macs or a PC with iTunes installed, which will bring up prompts to guide the user through the rest of the restoration. 

    The second way is for the device itself to enter the mode automatically, again bringing up the same prompts. A third apparently involves using Bluetooth as a "last resort" measure to broadcast the signal and for data transfers. 
    Completely wireless recovery. What could possibly go wrong?
    Are you suggesting things don't go wrong w/ every single device by every manufacturer, today? Clearly they do. 

    Apple has been producing techie marvels for almost as long as I've been alive. If they implement this (despite the handwaving, it's only a rumor at this point), I'm sure they will figure it out. They always do. People deny, people panic, people get mad, and then...acceptance. It is the way.
    Well they didn't figure it out for the watch. A few months ago people were getting bricked watches that needed to be sent back to Apple for recovery. 
    MplsPmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 57
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,596member
    tpurdy said:
    Truly wireless iPhone sounds awesome, as long as it come with some benefits like being much thinner or significantly longer battery life (what else could we get in return?). I’m sure a lot of people would be upset about it, just like many other examples where Apple has used their leverage to push for technology change/evolution for the ecosystems that surround their products. I think we’ll add it to the list of things people think they’ll miss and then 2 years later realize they don’t need (but don’t quote me if they add HDMI back to the MacBook Pro...) 

    As far as charging as you do other stuff goes - try MagSafe! I think people get this impression that you can’t do stuff with your phone when it’s wireless charging and maybe this is true for a lot of Qi chargers, but MagSafe does let you pick up your phone and move it around while continuing to charge. 

    Speaking of MagSafe... is there a missed opportunity here to include data transfer capabilities? I feel like that could sort-of bridge the gap between people doing traditional wired things (think wired CarPlay - which is still the case for many new or 1-2 year old vehicles) and actual wireless technologies. Could even work like an adapter with MagSafe on one side and female lightning on the other. Dongle life! 

    Long story short I would love a port-less iPhone, but I would need some kind of Apple-made, reliable wireless adapter for the wired CarPlay in my 2020 A4.
    Or, a few years down the line people will still be asking 'why?'

    Wholesale switch to USB-C in 2016 and still no sign of those 'legacy' ports disappearing. 

    Butterfly Keyboard 

    Touch Bar? 

    Dubious reasoning for not shipping chargers 

    One biometrics option

    ... 

    There are plenty of decisions that they didn't get right. 


    elijahgmuthuk_vanalingamminicoffeebeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 13 of 57
    tshapitshapi Posts: 342member
    These all just rumors!  Apple will not kill the lightning port just one year after re-introducing MagSafe. I am pretty sure the adoption rate isn’t high enough. As for ports. I think Apple will switch the lightning port for either a smart connector or allow the mag safe to handle both power and data.   

    In the past when Apple killed the 3.5 millimeter jack and other things, they provided a bridge of sorts for the interim. This would be no different! I’m sure 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 57
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,666member
    Wgkrueger said:
    I hope that solution also includes a provision for hard wired connected car players. 
    To be honest you can buy pretty cheap connected bluetooth receivers so no need for a wire to actual phone.
  • Reply 15 of 57
    Such a bad idea.

    I do a manual weekly back up. 
    Doing it over wifi regularly fails and I have to connect cable to do it.

    Also migration over wifi is terribly slow, I gave up when i purchased iPhone 12 pro.
    Moving from X.
    After several hours I had to restart and use cable, this was done in in minutes where as I had waiting several hours and not done over wifi.
    muthuk_vanalingambonobobwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 57
    It's way to early for them to accomplish this.  Very few car manufactures have incorporated Wireless CarPlay, and on top of that the plethora of accessories it would kill would fill landfills. I could see them add a smart connector on the back with a low profile attachment that utilized mag safe to position it.  The adapter could then add what ever ports needed for wired charging like on the newer iPads. They could slowly wean people off the wire to this new standard, and then after a few years they can go portless. 
    edited February 27 watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 57
    Hank2.0 said:
    The first method involves a user putting the iPhone into a manual recovery mode, triggering the Internet Restore broadcast. This is picked up by nearby Macs or a PC with iTunes installed, which will bring up prompts to guide the user through the rest of the restoration. 

    The second way is for the device itself to enter the mode automatically, again bringing up the same prompts. A third apparently involves using Bluetooth as a "last resort" measure to broadcast the signal and for data transfers. 
    Completely wireless recovery. What could possibly go wrong?


    If you maintain your AppleCare+, very little could go seriously wrong.  At least nothing that a trip to the Apple Store couldn't cure.
  • Reply 18 of 57
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 8,890member
    How many tech blog posters does it take to change a lightbulb? ... CHANGE??????
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 57
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 2,883member
    Hank2.0 said:
    The first method involves a user putting the iPhone into a manual recovery mode, triggering the Internet Restore broadcast. This is picked up by nearby Macs or a PC with iTunes installed, which will bring up prompts to guide the user through the rest of the restoration. 

    The second way is for the device itself to enter the mode automatically, again bringing up the same prompts. A third apparently involves using Bluetooth as a "last resort" measure to broadcast the signal and for data transfers. 
    Completely wireless recovery. What could possibly go wrong?


    If you maintain your AppleCare+, very little could go seriously wrong.  At least nothing that a trip to the Apple Store couldn't cure.
    A trip to the Apple store that is only an hour and a half away...but is currently closed due to COVID? All to do something that you could do yourself if they had just left the bleeping port in?

    tpurdy said:
    Truly wireless iPhone sounds awesome awful, as long as it come with some benefits like being much thinner or significantly longer battery life (what else could we get in return?). I’m sure a lot of people would be upset about it, just like many other examples where Apple has used their leverage to push for technology change/evolution for the ecosystems that surround their products. I think we’ll add it to the list of things people think they’ll miss and then 2 years later realize they don’t need (but don’t quote me if they add HDMI back to the MacBook Pro...) 

    Fixed that for you!

    The phone won't get any thinner - the lightning port is not the limiting factor now, so removing it will do nothing. Nor will the battery life get significantly longer just by removing the port. 

    I realize this is just a rumor, and hopefully it stays as one because it's a harebrained idea. For starters, You'd lose CarPlay compatibility with 95+% of the cars out there. Charging would be less efficient and slower. Apple professes to be concerned about the environment, but wireless charging wastes significant energy (upwards of 30%) For numbers on this, the iPhone 12 has a 10.8 wH batter. Assume it gets charged in 60% per day, every day, that comes out to 2.4 kWh per year. Inductive charging would waste about 1 kWh per year per phone. Then there's the people who need a battery pack. You need an external pack because you're running low on power and then you're going to waste 30% of the power you have because you have to use inductive charging??? Then there's all the accessories that won't work, as has been mentioned above.

    ultimately, this is a solution looking for a problem.
    elijahgmuthuk_vanalingamchadbagPetrolDavebeowulfschmidtjeffharris
  • Reply 20 of 57
    Hank2.0 said:
    The first method involves a user putting the iPhone into a manual recovery mode, triggering the Internet Restore broadcast. This is picked up by nearby Macs or a PC with iTunes installed, which will bring up prompts to guide the user through the rest of the restoration. 

    The second way is for the device itself to enter the mode automatically, again bringing up the same prompts. A third apparently involves using Bluetooth as a "last resort" measure to broadcast the signal and for data transfers. 
    Completely wireless recovery. What could possibly go wrong?
    Are you suggesting things don't go wrong w/ every single device by every manufacturer, today? Clearly they do. 

    Apple has been producing techie marvels for almost as long as I've been alive. If they implement this (despite the handwaving, it's only a rumor at this point), I'm sure they will figure it out. They always do. People deny, people panic, people get mad, and then...acceptance. It is the way.
    Lately, their techie marvels are riddled with problems.  Look at all the problems with the M1 Macs, most recently the excessive read/writes on the SSDs, significantly reducing the life of the flash storage which renders the Mac completely useless and not repairable without a complete motherboard replacement.  Apple over the past few years has been to release half-baked stuff and 'promise' features many months later.  They did a great job figuring out AirPower, and most recently could not figure out a battery pack for the iPhone, likely scrapping that project too.  Zero benefit to a portless phone when their recovery process still requires a Mac or PC to restore the phone.  Doing it over Wi-Fi (or worse, Bluetooth), just adds pain to the process...and a significant slowdown.  Removing the port does nothing to improve the functionality of the phone, it just takes away many useful features.
    MplsPjeffharris
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