The Lightning port has become such a stable part of the iPhone that it’s even hard to believe that we’ll ever see other ports added to the device. Still, many of us still have the idea that Apple might come around and finally start using USB-C for its most popular product, albeit that’s just wishful thinking at this point.
It’s been almost a decade since Apple introduced the Lightning port. At the time, it was such an innovation; no one really minded using a Lightning port instead of a USB port. Now, however, with the implementation of USB-C in pretty much every modern electronic device, including many of Apple’s products, we have to wonder what will happen with the Lightning port.
Will Apple finally make the switch to USB-C, or will we see the Lightning port for another decade?
History of the Lightning Port
The Lightning port was first introduced back in September of 2012. The smaller connector came to replace the older 30-pin connector that older iPhones used to have, albeit many of our younger readers probably don’t even know what we’re talking about.
The Lightning port was a huge hit. Not only was it way thinner than the older connector, but you could easily plug it into your iPhone, no matter which side you used. Plus, it allowed faster charging and data processing, not to mention how much room Apple had to keep adding new features to the iPhone.
It was so innovative that Apple decided to add it to most of its iPad models as well.
Why Hasn’t Apple Changed the Lightning Port?
A few years after the Lightning port came out was the introduction of USB-C, a new 24-pin USB connector that was faster, more secure, and easier to use than anything we’ve ever seen. It was so popular that it slowly became the unwritten rule for most electronic devices.
It was so popular that even Apple decided to start using USB-C ports on a lot of its products, including a lot of iPads and pretty much every modern Mac. However, the company decided to stick to Lightning when it came to the iPhone. I guess Apple wasn’t kidding when it said the Lightning port was the connector for the next decade.
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, a well-known Apple analyst, and leaker, Apple hasn’t changed the iPhone’s port for a couple of reasons. First, Kuo says Apple believes using a USB-C port would negatively affect the MFi products.
In case you didn’t know, Made For iPhone, or MFi for short, is a certification Apple gives to third-party products to let customers know they’re safe to use on iPhone. Using a USB-C port might allow a bunch of low-quality products that could affect the real MFi certified products, albeit there are already a bunch of low-quality products that support the Lightning port.
The second reason is that Apple might worry about the water-resistance of the iPhone. The USB-C standards for water resistance are lower when compared to the Lightning port, which would reduce the iPhone’s overall quality.
Even though these reasons kind of make sense, they really aren’t all that solid. As we mentioned, there are already many low-quality products that use Lightning that people can buy. Likewise, there are already many premium smartphones with awesome water resistance with a USB-C port at the bottom.
Not only that but changing to a USB-C port could potentially help the environment, which has been one of Apple’s biggest goals for a very long time.
Still, that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, and we might be stuck with a Lightning port for the next few years. Or worse, we might not get a port at all.
The Future of the Lightning Port
Unfortunately, Apple might never adopt a USB-C for the next iPhone. Instead, the company might do something even crazier: bring a portless iPhone.
There have been countless rumors that Apple’s working on an iPhone that will be completely wireless. Meaning it won’t have any port available. Since one of Apple’s goals has been to get rid of cables altogether, this rumor seems like it’s a reality just waiting to happen.
Plus, with the addition of the new MagSafe feature reintroduced on the iPhone 12, Apple’s goal of having a portless iPhone seems more real than ever now.
There’s no doubt that a lot of us would love an iPhone with a USB-C port. People want it so bad that a person spent over $80,000 for a modified iPhone with a USB-C port on eBay.
There’s even a directive from the European Commission that says that every device should come with the standard USB-C port that might pass by the end of 2022. This directive would theoretically force Apple to switch from Ligtningting to USB-C in the next two years.
The bad news is that this directive doesn’t apply to devices that charge wirelessly. Meaning that if Apple comes out with a fully wireless iPhone that charges with MagSafe, the new directive won’t affect it.
Not only that, but a lot of tech companies may follow Apple’s steps and start creating portless phones on their own. What, don’t you believe me? Then just remember when everybody made fun of Apple for ditching the headphone jack, only for companies to start copying Apple’s formula when they realized how much money Apple made.
Unfortunately, it seems like we might never see an iPhone with a USB-C port from Apple. We’ll have to wait and see if and when Apple decides to go fully portless and prepare ourselves for a wireless, “USB-C-less” future.