Apple is once more rumored to be ditching the Lightning port when it launches a future iPhone, possibly iPhone 13. But why?
Based on claims by leaker McGuire Wood (a.k.a Jioriku), Apple is now having its engineers work on potential solutions to the problems we all know will come from losing the Lightning port – particularly the lack of a recovery option. Ignoring the fact that this should presumably have been worked out long before now if iPhone 13 is to be the first portless iPhone, I still don't quite understand what the end game is.
Removing the Lightning port will give iPhone the same recovery issue that has befallen Apple Watch for years. Namely, it can't be restored or recovered without being given back to Apple. That's why engineers are apparently looking at ways to solve that right now.
That doesn't sound like a trivial thing to get up and running so Apple must really want to kill the Lightning port for good. It must have its reasons for that, but I'm not seeing them as I sit here today.
The increased water resistance afforded by removing the Lightning port is cool and all, but iPhones survive long enough underwater as it is. And you'd still need a slot for your SIM card and holes for speakers and whatnot. These things won't be 100% sealed, Lightning port or not.
Could Apple make thinner iPhones because of the removal of a port? Possibly. But Apple has a history of iPhones bending and we would all rather more battery than a thinner device. Maybe this is all about adding bigger batteries after all?
Next, there's the potential return of Touch ID that's built into the screen. Could Apple need more space for whatever black magic phone makers do to make that happen? Maybe, but probably not. The likes of Samsung manage it just fine with their USB-C port in tow.
So, again. Why does Apple want to get rid of the Lightning port? Normally I'd suggest that perhaps it doesn't and the rumor-mill is just doing that thing it does. But we've been hearing about this move for too long now, and from too many different sources. Apple is going to go portless eventually, whether it's this year or not.
I just can't wait to see the reason for it. I bet the likes of Anker, RAVPower, and others are thinking just the same!
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.
Dropping the Lightning port might be Apple's reaction to the EU demanding a uniform port. Especially as the Mute switch seems to survive. Which I'd rather had seen ditched long ago. (You may well differ.) The SIM slot may also be due to be dropped, as soon as Apple considers enough carriers supporting eSIM.
I miss my midnight forrest green iPhone 11 Pro, sometimes. Then I look at my iPhone 12 Pro deep blue pacific and fall in love all over again. I don’t get the problem with ports. Micro USB was a joke and USB C is better, though the phone ships with a USB C cable anyway, so who cares?
It’s simple, harder to jailbreak or hack the iPhone with out an easy access point like a usb connection
Well, that's a very good point.
If Apple gets rid of the port on iPhones, I won't be able to use my wired Apple CarPlay. And I'm not going to upgrade my car just to use wireless CarPlay.
That won't be a problem. Apple will simply release a wireless dongle to plug into the CarPlay USB socket in the car which communicates wirelessly with the phone. These things already exist.
Thank you for signing up to iMore. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.