lightning is obsolete
iPhones should have USB-C plugs
By Klaus Wedekind
Apple’s top analyst predicts that iPhones will come with USB-C ports next year. The manufacturer doesn’t necessarily bow to the will of the EU, but probably just accepts that the outdated Lightning plug can no longer keep up.
In 2009, the EU and 13 major smartphone manufacturers agreed on a common standard micro-USB connector, among other things to reduce electronic waste. Everyone participated except Apple. Then came USB-C, which is now standard on all Android devices.
Only iPhones still have a Lightning connector, and that should change this year change nothing. But now Ming-Chi Kuo wrote twice in a few days that he hopes Apple will also equip its smartphones with USB-C next year.
The infallible analyst with an excellent understanding of supply chains tweeted last week that Apple could use it to improve device transfer and charging speeds. On Sunday, Kuo added that a completely unplugged iPhone, which he has announced since 2019, could cause more problems. Wireless technology still has too many limitations, and Apple’s MagSafe ecosystem is still immature. The analyst also tweeted that other Lightning devices like AirPods, Magic Keyboard, Trackpad or Magic Mouse will also be upgraded to USB-C in the near future.
Another reason for Apple’s rethinking could also be the increasingly specific EU directive to be a unified USB charger. However, the obligation to implement it could still take a few years. Observers don’t expect this before 2024, some not even before 2026.
Too slow for the future
The proprietary interface replaced the wide 30-pin connector previously used with the iPhone 5 nearly ten years ago. That was revolutionary at the time, but today the connector is outdated and stuck at the USB-2 level, which allows data transfers of up to 480 megabits per second (Mbps).
On the other hand, up to 40 gigabits per second (Gbit/s) are possible on the USB-C sockets, with the faster Thunderbird interface even developed by Apple. It’s been rumored that engineers could squeeze a little more out of Lightning with the upcoming iPhone 14, but in the long run that won’t be enough, especially for high-resolution video recordings.
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