The tech blogosphere was awash in a new rumor that gained steam over a week and seemed to peak yesterday- Apple would abandon the Lightning Connector for the next iPhone, which will have a USB-C charging port. I was skeptical as soon as I heard this because it would frankly be so out of character for Apple. They have always preferred to stick with proprietary connectors on their mobile devices, and have never shown any signs of changing this philosophy. However, there were some heavy hitters, such as the Wall Street Journal, reporting this yesterday, so it gained a lot of steam….until today.
The Apple world makes a little more sense today, as KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo reported that the rumors of a change to USB-C are only half true. According to him, Apple will retain the Lightning Connector, but add the fast charging capabilities of the USB-C standard. This makes FAR more sense than Apple spontaneously jettisoning both a well designed small-footprint connector, and a solid source of licensing income. This is especially true when you consider that Apple has already added USB 3 fast charging to the 12.9″ iPad Pro.
The fact is, most of the competition is transitioning to fast charging, and Apple needs to keep up. Adding this feature makes perfect sense. However, there is no compelling reason for Apple to give up the standard connector on their flagship device, and the massive cable and accessory ecosystem that goes with it. This is only year 5 of the Lightning standard, so there will have to be a more compelling reason that faster data transfers to move away from it and force users to buy new cables and adapters again.
What do you think about the rumors of Apple leaving Lightning behind on the next iPhone? Let us know in the Comments section below.