Apple (again) said to be going portless with its 2021 iPhone. But only one.

iPhone charging port
iPhone charging port (Image credit: Joseph Keller/iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple is once again rumored to be launching a portless iPhone next year.
  • But not all models will be without ports, says Jon Prosser.

Apple will launch a portless iPhone next year, but not all of its lineup will ditch the Lightning connector. That's according to the well-connected Jon Prosser in a video posted to YouTube today.

As Prosser rightly points out, rumors of portless iPhones are nothing new but they do make much more sense than going USB-C. Especially if portless is Apple's endgame. It's also important to remember that Prosser made similar claims earlier this year.

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That tweet now is now six months old and Prosser continues to stand by it.

If Apple does drop the Lightning port from a single iPhone in 2021, which one might that be? Apple is already rumored to be launching a four-iPhone lineup next year – the same iPhone, iPhone mini, iPhone Pro, iPhone Pro Max lineup as 2020 – and making a single model port-free seems odd, to say the least.

My guess would be the iPhone 13 Pro Max for no reason other than it being the most costly model Apple will offer. We'll have to wait for Prosser to spill the beans if and when he finds out, though.

One thing we can pretty much put to bed here, though – Apple isn't going to switch to USB-C. Not next year, not ever.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

  • I would actually counter the logic of your guess and say that the Mini will be the first port-less iPhone next year. Given that it has the least amount of room inside to fit ports, it would make sense that they would want to eliminate it and squeeze in a little more battery. Also, with the smaller battery that it has, it would make sense to go wireless-charging-only (Magsafe) since it takes significantly less time to charge.
  • If apple does this, there are going to a lot of unhappy people. People who, if they buy the new phone, will have a car that will no longer work with car play. The wireless dongle makers will have a field day but most people will just be out of luck.
  • That's what I'm worried about! I just got a new Challenger with CarPlay, which is awesome, and I don't want to lose that function (but there's no way I'm ever giving up this car)!
  • Same here. I bought a new Mercedes E300 last year and they didn't offer Wireless CarPlay until the 2020 S series. No way I will buy a new $60k car just to get Wireless CarPlay. I'll stick with my current phone util it's time to trade in this one. Might have to go android for a couple years.
  • As per an article I read about the same, as per that article the apple supposed to portless with their Iphone12 line up but i think they managed to make it beautiful with port.
  • Unless they have a really good solution for transferring files from the phone to a PC, I'm not too confident in this decision.
  • iCloud, OneDrive, Google Drive.
  • I interpret Prosser’s claim as that either the iPhone 13 OR the iPhone 13 Pro will be portless. Not that specifically the iPhone 13 Pro Max will be portless or another specific size, but just a specific line (like the Pro or the regular.) If this happens, I don’t know whether the Pro series or regular series would go portless... I suppose the Pro customers might be more willing to adapt to a portless phone. But you could also make the claim that Pros are the only ones who use the port for anything besides charging. If only one specific size of phone is going portless, I would say it’s the 13 mini, as removing the port could make way for more battery space.
  • They going to throw in a MagSafe charger in with the portless iPhone? With the appropriate wall wart? Or are we going with, everyone has a drawer full of these?
  • Nope, all about the "environment" lol
  • Not surprised. They released Magsafe this year and I am sure that is their plan down the line to remove the port on the device.
  • This will happen, but the model won't be any of the 4 mainstream models of iPhone. It will come first in the iPhone SE3. The iPhone SE3 will have a 5.8 inch LCD display, single camera and no USB port. However, it's unlikely to come in 2021. Instead it will arrive in H1 2022 and will come with A15 processor.
  • Why? What is the point? So called “wireless charging” sucks. Imagine if “Wireless networking” only worked while your phone was sitting on top of the “Wireless networking” thing. A thing that, BTW, has a wire attached to it. Pick up your phone, and the network connection stops. This is how so called “Wireless charging” works. You can’t pick it up and use it while it is charging. Which is VERY EASY to do with a wire. Besides, USB 3 is way faster to transfer files than Wi-Fi. There is just no advantage to this. Only massive downsides. Sorry, but I will never accept so called “Wireless charging” that only works while my phone is sitting on top of the so called “Wireless charging” thing. Until I can walk around and use my phone while it is wirelessly charging - the way that wireless networking works - then so called “Wireless charging” is a useless step backwards.