Component companies in Asia are saying Apple will be ditching the Lightning connector on the iPhone and replacing it with USB-C. But we’ll have to wait a while, if the reports are correct.
Digitimes has a good track record on leaks like this as they track component makers and manufacturers closely. They’re saying Apple is getting ready to make the switch in 2019. While some folks expected that change to happen this year, the report suggests Apple is still redesigning the internals of the iPhone that would need to change to accomodate a USB-C connection.
Apple introduced the Lightning Connector in 2012, replacing the 30-pin connector that only fitted into the port one way which they introduced in 2003. Before that, the first iPods connected using a bulky Firewire connector.
When the Lightning connector was introduced, USB-C wasn’t around and, while Apple was part of the smartphone-maker consortium that said micro-USB was a good thing, they never adopted that connector. But the shift to USB-C would be welcome. The days of having to pay extra for an Apple-specific cable will fall away as more devices use USB-C.
Of course, there will be a painful transition period while all those legacy Lightning cables remain in circulation. And many offices and households will need a supply of both cables for a while.
The transition will take some time – I still encounter 30-pin connectors in my travels in hotels with speakers and alarm clocks – but the result will make life a little easier as a single cable will be able to meet the charging and syncing needs of smartphones, tablets and laptops from most manufacturers.