Apple has never used ports just because everyone else was using them. Always the hipster, Apple forges its own path with the 30-pin connector, FireWire, and now Lightning. It’s looking like the days of Lightning may be numbered, though. After reports that Apple would ditch Lightning in favor of USB Type-C in 2019, a leak purports to show an Apple Type-C charger for the iPhone.
Apple introduced Lightning in 2012 as a replacement for the aging 30-pin connector on its mobile devices. It supported much faster data transfer, quicker charging, and the plug was reversible. That was the main advantage over microUSB, the competing standard at the time. This is also the port that eventually allowed Apple to kill the headphone jack.
Lightning was a clear improvement back in 2012 if the alternative was the giant, awkward 30-pin plug. However, many devices have moved on to USB Type-C. Like Lightning, it supports faster data transfer, fast charging, and it’s reversible. Unlike Lightning, it’s also a standard. You’ll find Type-C ports on computers, phones, tablets, and even on the Nintendo Switch. Apple has only USB Type-C ports on its latest MacBook, as well. You need an adapter just to plug Apple’s phone into Apple’s computer.
Clearly, something has to change, and this leak could be it. The photos show what purports to be an Apple-branded Type-C iPhone charger. There’s a Type-C port on the plug, so you’d use a C-to-C cable to juice up the phone. It’s entirely possible this is a third-party accessory, but there’s one major reason to hope that it’s real. The labeling says this plug outputs at 18W, which is the same as the Pixel. That’s much faster charging than the measly 5W current iPhones get.
Type-C takes up a bit more space on the phone than Lightning, but it’s also a more robust port. It would also support audio-out, so don’t get excited for Apple to bring back the headphone jack. Plenty of Android phones have also ditched the headphone jack in favor of audio over USB.
Apple is expected to announce new iPhones in several months. If these devices do move to Type-C, we should start seeing many more Type-C accessories leak over the coming weeks. There should be a ton of Type-C-to-3.5mm-jack adapters in particular. Although, the rumor mill says Apple may stop including those with the phone. If more leaks don’t pop up, then the Type-C switch could be in store for Apple’s 2019 products.
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