Apple's Power Play: Lightning or USB-C?


Apple has a power play on its hands: which connector will it use to power its future devices? Currently, Apple uses Lightning for portable devices like iPhones, iPads, and accessories; and USB-C for laptops, future chargers, and daisy-chaining via Thunderbolt. Which way will it go, or will we need cables and adapters forevermore?

XYZ Analyst, Xavier Zymantas, explores Apple's options.

Lightning for iOS:

A long line of iOS devices have used the Lightning Port, from the once-famous but faded-from-memory iPod Touch, to the iPhone, iPad, iPad Pro, the Pencil, and more recently, the new Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse.

However, a recent series of patents shows that Apple now has all the pieces in place to remove the Lightning Port from these devices.

USB-C for macOS laptops external hard drives, and accessories:

Since the unveiling of the 12-inch MacBook in 2015, Apple has been using USB-C as the preferred charging port for all new MacBooks and MacBook Pros. Power is also being delivered to accessories such as external hard drives via Thunderbolt, which has also transitioned to the USB-C standard connector.

MagSafe may not be completely dead yet, on older laptops, or could be making a re-appearance in the future if you consider the possible implementation of these patents.

Image: Apple MacBook with USB-C charger

Left or Right?

Which way will Apple go in the future, left or right? Lightning or USB-C? Will they standardise all devices to one power connector, or continue to separate them based on iOS and macOS devices?

Or will a new magnetic standard deliver both options?

Until next time,

Xavier Zymantas

XYZ Media Group

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