Apple Lightning port is 10 years old! Time to retire? Is USB-C the future for iPhones?
Apple Lightning port has completed a decade of its existence and the industry asks what’s next for the iPhone’s sole physical port.
It has been 10 years since the Apple iPhone 5 debuted and in the iPhone's overall history, it may not be the most important model to be considered. However, other than the slightly bigger design than its predecessor, the iPhone 5 had one more thing – the Lightning port. Back in 2012, it was the biggest and frankly the most convenient innovation Apple had given to the world of smartphones. It was everything that the previous 30-pin port and the micro USB port weren't. It made life easy.
Fast forward to 2022 and the scene has changed. The Lightning port continues to exist on iPhones but it is not the most convenient one to live with. Creators complain about the lack of data transfer speeds, while commoners complain about the port compatibility situation – all thanks to the arrival of the USB-C port. Such is the effect of the USB-C port that Apple itself has given some of its expensive iPads and Macs USB-C ports as the standard I/O port. Is the Lightning port ready to retire then?
Lightning port: Is it obsolete now?
No, Lightning is certainly not obsolete. Unless you are a power user, you are not likely to have any issues with Apple's proprietary port. The Lightning port offers ample fast charging speeds, and offers a reversible connector. And safe to say, it looks elegant too. However, in a world of all things USB-C, the Lightning port looks like a mismatch. You can charge your iPad, your Apple Watch with the same USB-C charger of your MacBook, but your iPhone still needs an extra cable.
Several entities have also linked this port diversity with e-waste generation, which is why there are plans to mandate a single type of charging port. The EU is now considering to mandate almost all mobile devices to use the more common USB-C port, and that means Apple eventually has to adapt the port for its iPhones.
But more than the e-waste issue, the Lightning port faces extinction from this one – a portless iPhone. Rumours have long suggested that the iPhone might go portless sometime by 2025. With Apple sticking to the MagSafe wireless charging, it seems the only possible future for the iPhone's charging requirements.
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