Apple is set to unveil its new iOS products this Thursday - and there could be a very welcome surprise in store. According to a new memo from supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple's Lightning port will be replaced by universal USB-C. In other words, no more expensive proprietary cables. This could be a very big deal.
If Ming-Chi Kuo can be believed, the next iPad Pro will use USB-C in place of Lightning. It will also come packaged with the new 18W USB-C charger that leaked a few months ago. Kuo claims that this is a bona fide swap to USB-C, rather than a USB-C Lightning port. If true, this would be a massive change for the Apple ecosystem that should lead to a sharp rise in third-party accessories.
A Japanese blog has leaked images of what it purports is the next iPhone's fast charger. As predicted, it seems the new iPhone models will finally be ditching USB-A - although Apple's proprietary Lightning port is apparently here to stay for another year at least.
When you consider the profit Apple makes from its Lightning connector - not just from cable sales but also third-party licencing - this sounds too good to be true. In short, why would it want to kill off its cash cow?
There's actually a compelling reason for Apple to make this change. Namely, new rules are being pushed in Europe that could see mobile manufacturers forced to use a single, standardised port across all devices. Naturally, USB-C is the main contender.
It could be that Apple is simply making this move preemptively to comply with EU legislation. Or maybe it just wants to gain some good will with customers who are sick of forking out for overpriced cables.
Now for the bad news: according to the same memo, the new iPhones will stick with 5W charging and Lightning ports. Which kind of knackers the above theory.
As with any Apple rumour, we'd take this one with a gain of salt for the time being. All will be revealed in less than 24 hours. If the iPad Pro does come without Lightning, it could mark the beginning of the end for proprietary Apple cables - which can only be a win for consumers.