What you need to know
- Apple has transitioned another of its products to USB-C.
- The Pad mini and Apple Watch SE are now all-in on the new connection.
- Only the base model iPad and iPhone remain a fan of Lightning.
The Lightning port has enabled a vast array of accessories since its introduction in 2012 to replace the 30-pin connector. With next year being its ten-year anniversary, I think it is finally time to say goodbye to Lightning, rip the bandaid off, and fully embrace the USB-C world.
When Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 7 at its "California Streaming" event this week, it revealed that the new watch would come with a USB-C charging cable instead of USB-A in order to support faster charging speeds. The company also announced the new and redesigned iPad mini which ditched the Lightning port in favor of USB-C like the iPad Air and iPad Pro above it.
Today, it was also revealed that Apple is bringing the USB-C charging cable to the Apple Watch SE as well. Customers who purchase the watch will now get the same charging cable as the Apple Watch Series 7 when it launches later this fall.
After thinking about it for a while, it dawned on me that the only big Apple products that are left with a Lightning port are the base model iPad and, of course, the iPhone. The company's headphones are also still Lightning port fans but I'm throwing them in the accessories category here.
While I agree that the iPhone should be the last product that Apple converts to USB-C, I think it is about that time. I can't get the image out of my head of the iPhone 13 Pro Max looking around for another product that still rocks that connector and the base model iPad is like "Hey, over here! Me too!"
USB-C is (or already is) the standard that all products are going to. Even cheap electronic products on Amazon are already making the change to USB-C. It's a fantastic technology that enables power, audio, video, and data transfer to work through one connector.
I even think about Apple doing it for the sake of all of us with friends who have Android phones. The fact that I need to keep two different cables in my car and almost every Android phone uses USB-C now, I can't help but stare at my Lightning cable like "why are you still here."
Granted, things get more complicated when it comes to accessories. A ton of Apple accessories like the company's headphones, keyboards, and mice still use the technology. However, we all have Lightning cables hanging around to charge these devices as Apple transitions them over as well. It's a reality that we'll have to deal with but the sooner the better.
I want to live in that world where I can carry around one cable and it can charge all of my Apple devices. If I pack my MacBook Air, iPad Air, and iPhone for a trip, the iPhone is the odd man out now and I'm stuck bringing along a Lightning cable.
Having one USB-C that does it all is this utopia in charging that we are so close to and Apple just needs to bite the bullet and bring everyone along. They've been nudging us in this direction for years now with the Mac and iPad, so they've given enough time for all of us to get ready for it.
The 30-pin connector died almost ten years ago. The best ten-year anniversary gift for Apple to give us with the Lightning connector would be to retire it as well.
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Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.