iPhone to get USB-C? Yes and No

Despite the many rumours and supposed leaks that the 2019 edition iPhone and iPad will adopt the USB-C port, we can both confirm and deny the truth. Apple will adopt USB-C, but it wont immediately drop Lightning. Boom.

Apple and USB-C

Apple loves being first - brave, courageous, think-forward, whatever you choose to call it, they like to the best, and they love making people believe that they did it first, even if they didn't.

Apple didn't invent the portable music player with the iPod, but they were the most successful seller of portable music players.

Apple didn't invent the mobile phone, but the iPhone is the best-selling mobile phone.

Apple didn't invent the touch-screen tablet with the iPad, Star Trek did, in 1970-something.

Apple didn't invent the personal digital assistant with the Newton, but then it didn't sell well, regardless.

What Apple does do well, is take a category with burgeoning demand, and fill that demand with a love-it-immediately device.

In 2012, the 12" MacBook debuted with a single solitary USB-C port, for both power and data transfer. It did away with the beloved MagSafe power connector, and did away with USB-A, HDMI, Ethernet, and everything else, besides the audio jack.

Next, the MacBook Pro ditched all the ports and came with either 2 USB-Cs or 4 USB-Cs, depending on the model you choose.

Then in 2016, the refreshed iMacs sported USB-C Thunderbolt ports, just like the MacBook Pros.

Throughout 2017 and 2018, there have been endless rumblings about Apple adopting USB-C on the iPhone and iPad. These are both true and not true.

iPhone and iPad

Starting with the refresh of the iPhone X, to debut in September 2018, and the next iPad around the same time, both devices will feature:

  • a wall charger with a USB-C port

  • a USB-C to Lightning cable

  • will not have a USB-A to Lightning cable

This will allow you to charge your iPhone from the wall charger to the phone. It will also enable you to use the same cable to plug the USB-C end into your iMac or MacBook, and the Lightning end into your iPhone or iPad.

Lightning on the iPhone and iPad

The next iPhone and iPad will keep the Lightning port.

Apple will not give up their licensing fees for accessories and attachments by losing the Lightning port.

At some point, Apple will release its AirPower mat, enabling you to wirelessly charge your iPhone, AirPods, AirPods case, and Apple Watch simultaneously. Until then Apple are recommending Belkin and Mophie wireless charging pads.

An array of accessories plug in to the Lightning port, everything from headphones, to hifi systems to dongles that enable projectors and all kinds of things to share audio and video. Apple charges manufacturers a fee to use the Lightning plug, and they wont be giving that up any time soon.

In conclusion

No, you wont see a USB-C port on the bottom of your iPhone or iPad - ever.

You will see USB-C ports on more and more of Apple's other devices, such as the MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, and the forthcoming Mac Pro desktop. You might even see them on the as-yet-unconfirmed refresh of the lovable little Mac Mini.

You'll also start to see USB-C ports on Apple designed chargers, cables, dongles, accessories, and more.

Until next time,

Xavier Zymantas


XYZ Media Group

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