Leaker suggests Apple did prototype a USB-C iPhone 12 before deciding against it

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

What you need to know

  • It has long been confirmed that Apple won't switch to USB-C with the iPhone 12.
  • Several rumors have suggested that the iPhone 12 will retain Apple's Lightning connector, with a portless iPhone the end goal.
  • However, a Twitter leaker has suggested that Apple did at least prototype a USB-C version of the new upcoming smartphone.

Twitter leaker Fudge has suggested that despite prevalent rumors that Apple will not be switching to USB-C with the iPhone 12, it did at least build a prototype.

In a post yesterday Fudge (@choco_bit) stated:

Shame the USB-c prototype iPhone 12's arent making it to production. 1 more year of lightningOh well, at least smart connector on 13 series

We have long known that Apple would in all likelihood not be making the switch from Lightning to USB-C in the upcoming iPhone 12. Analyst Rene Ritchie recently investigated why Apple won't be going USB-C with the next iPhone. Just a couple of weeks ago, Jon Prosser also confirmed that Apple is planning to release one totally portless iPhone next year but that in the meantime it would "never" go USB-C. With that in mind, Fudge's revelation that USB-C won't be coming to the iPhone isn't news. It is however interesting to note that Apple appears to have at least dipped its toe into the USB-C pool, possibly building a prototype that won't ever see the light of day.

Fudge further reiterated Prosser's information stating that Apple plans to go to a portless experience next year, however, notes that Apple may include a smart connector on the iPhone 13 as a backup, possibly for attaching accessories and for use with diagnostics, repairs and data recovery. This will not be the primary means of charging the device, that will be done wirelessly.

Whilst some users might be disappointed at the prospect that we came a lot closer than previously thought to a USB-C iPhone, the truth is that a portless iPhone looms on the horizon, and is close enough that logistically, switching to USB-C is redundant at this point.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9