In a report on the iPhone 8 and what we can expect to see the WSJ states that according to a source the new iPhone will feature a “USB-C port for the power cord and other peripheral devices instead of the company’s original Lightning connector.”
Now on the surface this actually makes a considerable amount of sense. Apple’s new MacBook and MacBook Pro both exclusively feature USB-C ports, ditching USB, microSD and HDMI altogether. So by bringing the iPhone in line with these devices they would be adopting a universal set of cables for their products.
It would also signal a rare moment of unity as in addition to Apple almost every major smartphone manufacturer is behind USB-C, while companies like B&O, GoPro and even Nintendo with the Switch console have also made a commitment to using it.
There are other reasons for this potentially being a good move for Apple.
For starters it is reversible just like the Lightning port. It’s also easily waterproofed and can serve a huge range of uses from outputting 4K content to playing hi-res audio to headphones.
There is however a bit ‘but’ attached to this rumour. Apple has never been afraid of going against the grain when it comes to cables.
It happily ditched the original iPhone connector for Lightning, enduring a considerable backlash over accessories no longer being compatible. It then happily ditched the headphone jack and adopted Lightning as its main cable for the iPhone again enduring a considerable backlash over headphones.
Then there’s the Lightning port’s capabilities. It can reasonably perform many of the functions of a USB-C cable and by keeping it Apple won’t then immediately void a vast number of accessories that have been built for its smartphones since the iPhone 5.
Lightning has only just started being adopted outside of the iPhone too with the BeatsX headphones being the first non-Apple product to be charged exclusively using a Lightning connector.
Finally, and this is a big one, Apple has actually already brought another cable into its family called the Ultra Accessory Connector.
This tiny cable has already been sent out to developers in the hope that it will become the main way of charging and connecting to your headphones.
At this stage however it’s incredibly hard to tell what Apple will do. Only in September will we really know what Apple has planned for the iPhone 8.
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