Do you prefer an iPhone with USB-C, Lightning or wireless?

It’s been rumored for a while that Apple will ditch its beloved Lightning connector on the iPhone and switch to USB-C. Several Apple devices have already switched to USB-C, but the iPhone has fallen behind. As time goes on, it seems more and more likely that we’ll end up with a USB-C iPhone. But is that something consumers want?

USB-C iPhones mandatory in the EU

The topic came up again and again after the European Union decided that USBC iPhones will be mandatory by 2024. The United States could potentially follow suit to agree on a “common charging port” for consumers. The regulations come as politicians are asking tech companies to standardize a charging cable to create less environmental waste and lower costs for the consumer. However, Apple has fought back, saying a common charging cable would stifle innovation and only increase environmental waste.

Lightning, the “modern connector for the next decade”

Ten years ago, Apple executive Phil Schiller announced the Lightning cable, calling it the “modern connector for the next decade.” The Lightning port was released with the iPhone 5 and has stayed with every iPhone since. However, speculation suggests that Lightning will soon be retired as USB-C becomes the next charging port on iPhones.

When do we expect a USB-C iPhone?

The first ever USB-C iPhone is predicted to be the iPhone 15, which is expected to launch in the fall of 2023, analysts say Ming Chi Kuo forecast.

My latest survey shows that the new iPhone 2H23 will ditch the Lightning port and move to the USB-C port. USB-C could improve iPhone transfer and charging speed in hardware designs, but final specification details still depend on iOS support.

While Apple will make the move soon, Kuo suggests that USB-C may not stay on iPhones for long.

Existing USB-C related vendors of the Apple ecosystem (e.g. IC controllers, connectors) are expected to become the focus of the market in the next 1-2 years thanks to heavy iPhone orders and adoption of USB-C ports through accessories.

His proposal begs the question of what’s next: could Apple go portless after USB-C?

Could the iPhone go portless?

It’s obvious that a fully wireless iPhone could be coming in a few years. Many iPhone 12 and 13 line users are already charging wirelessly by adding iPhone MagSafe chargers. However, this is not the preferred outcome for all users. For those who use their iPhone for photo and video capture, a wired connection is still the preferred method. My colleague Ben offers a great insight into what a wireless iPhone could look like in a few years.

What would you prefer?

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