Can’t get rid of the Lightning Port soon enough.
Today there are rumors circulating that the top-of-the-line 2021 iPhone will have no data port of any kind. Even for or a company that has built a reputation around bold design, this would be an extreme move. Until this rumor is confirmed, however, there is no sense in envisioning a world where you could only depend on some form of wireless charging. Instead, let us rejoice as we reflect upon the Lightning Port’s imminent demise. It is long overdue.
Clearly, the iPhone should have made the change to USB-C at the same time that the laptops stopped featuring any other kind of port. No more power port, video port (Thunderbolt), USB (full size!) port. Just four plain jane USB-C ports on the (then) new MacBook Pro. Sure, there was an outcry as everyone needed to replace or adapt their peripherals. The age of dongles was born. But Apple, as ever, rammed it down their customers’ throats, because Apple always knows best, right?
But they didn’t do that with the iPhone, perhaps being overprotective of the golden goose that hurtled them to global dominance. Thankfully, in 2012 Apple put their ridiculous 30 pin iPhone port out to pasture, but instead of replacing it with a mini USB, all new iPhones were instead fitted with a proprietary 8 pin port. It is small, convenient, has a nice feel so you know when it’s properly in place. It creates a secure connection that won’t spontaneously disconnect because of gravity or a reasonable amount of jostling. All these attributes could describe USB-mini except one. Lightning ports have no top and no bottom. The plug goes in either way.
Mini USB plugs do have a top and bottom, which makes it nearly impossible to insert in the dark, when most people are going to bed and charging their phones.
Enter USB-C. And let’s remember what that “U” stands for: UNIVERSAL. As in, not proprietary. There can be no doubt that Apple realized USB-C solved all the problems. It was a high speed connector that could be inserted securely either way. And it has now became the exclusive method for connecting MacBooks to anything.
So why not make the switch to this proper solution on the iPhone? After all, Apple changes the camera configuration on every model to make sure old cases are obsolete. It gives the ecosystem a whole new pile of stuff to sell. But it didn’t happen, and the reason is that Apple is not always right.
And now we discuss an iPhone with no connector port on the most premium and exclusive models. That means that other iPhones will presumably continue to use a cable standard that has not been upgraded in over seven years. And we also find Apple trying to create a false market for the non-connector phone. This forces the high-end user to advertise a feature that is otherwise unwanted.
Apple may not always be right, but you’d have a hard time convincing Apple. At least the end is finally (maybe?) in sight for the lightning port.