Will the iPhone never become a USB-C smartphone?

If there is an EU decision, smartphones should have standardized interfaces for charging and data cables in the future - most likely in the form of USB-C. Apple argues rather badly than right against it, but will have to bow when a corresponding directive / law for the European market comes into force. Or not? Because instead of doing without Lightning for USB-C, it could be that the Apple iPhone will no longer have a connection at all from 2021. The battery would then have to be fully charged using Qi chargers. In the following you will find details as well as advantages and disadvantages of the possible procedure.

Would you rather have an Apple iPhone without a connection than with USB-C? Will the smartphone from Cupertino be built without a physical interface from 2021? Here are the advantages and disadvantages.
Would you rather have an Apple iPhone without a connection than with USB-C? Will the smartphone from Cupertino be built without a physical interface from 2021? Here are the advantages and disadvantages.

The advantage of USB-C on all smartphones

There are currently smartphones on the market that use a wide variety of connections. Newer models from the Android area rely on USB-C for faster charging technology, better data transfer and greater compatibility with accessories. But there are also current models Micro-USB-Connection. Apple has been using the Lightning connector as an interface since 2012 (iPhone 5). This means that even in the same household, if the devices are used accordingly, there are up to three different chargers or at least charging cables. Standardization would massively reduce the number of chargers and cables and thus also the amount of electronic waste. And that's why there is a corresponding one EU decision.

Apple: Wouldn't it be better to have no connection instead of USB-C on the iPhone 2021?

It is very likely that the upcoming iPhone 12 models for 2020 will still be equipped with Lightning connectors. But like a golem in one Post shows, this could change fundamentally as early as next year. Referring to a tweet from Apple connoisseur and leaker Jon Prosser (here) it is shown that at least one of the 2021 iPhone models should not have a connection at all. The lack of a physical interface would mean an efficient circumvention of the EU decision and the EU directive to be expected as a result. The Prosser tweet and Golem show that instead of just one, maybe even all iPhone models could come without a connection in 2021.

Why renouncing makes sense and why not

Apple is not exactly known for bringing particularly open systems or systems that are compatible with technology other than their own onto the market. The iPad Pro models with USB-C are an exception, but they are also aimed at “pro users”, i.e. those who would probably do without the tablet if it weren't for USB-C compatibility. It would make sense not to use USB-C on the iPhone because it is the well-known company policy. That was the case with the first Mac models. Dispensing with any physical interface makes less sense because it has some disadvantages such as a lack of convenience while charging the battery.  Because a smartphone lying on the charging mat is difficult to use.

Advantages and disadvantages of an iPhone without a connection

In addition to the lack of convenience when charging, there are other points of criticism that an iPhone without a connection would have to load on itself. Only if Apple could get rid of the associated disadvantages would the step towards smartphones without a physical interface be worthwhile. Here is an overview:

Benefits Disadvantages
Better protection against dust and water Repairing the charging technology in the smartphone would be more difficult
For Apple: circumventing EU regulations On the go: charging mat takes up more space than cables
For users: no more charging cables Using the mobile phone while charging with current technology is hardly possible
Data exchange and updates already work via radio Fast charging function cannot be used with current Qi technology

What is needed: flexible, space-saving, wireless chargers

When I was looking at the then new iPhone X in 2017 wrote about qi chargers, "AirPower" was still under discussion. According to Jon Prosser, a stripped-down version could hit the market in Q4 2020 or Q1 2021 (Which). But wouldn't the charging mat for iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods charging case be outdated long ago? It can hardly be used flexibly, anything but space-saving and needs a cable with (probably) a Lightning connector. This is absolute nonsense, especially for on the go. So if you currently rely on small, powerful GaN chargers with individual cables, you would need smaller, more flexible solutions, which could continue to be used with the iPhone and which would have high performance - similar to the one with 40 watt charger from Xiaomi.

Conclusion and your opinion on the iPhone without a connection

An iPhone without any physical interface would make sense in a few ways. But the disadvantages would be quite numerous and serious given the current state of the art and its possible uses. Cable connections are currently the best solution, especially for mobile charging of the battery. And the iPad Pro models have also shown that Apple hardware does not lose any functionality or value if it has a USB-C port - on the contrary. So what is your opinion on the subject? Should Apple finally crush the Lightning connector for USB-C? Should Apple hardware forego connections entirely? Feel free to leave a comment;)


Did you like the article and did the instructions on the blog help you? Then I would be happy if you the blog via a Steady Membership would support.

10 comments on "Will the iPhone never become a USB-C smartphone?"

  1. for me an idiotic decision by Apple. Eliminating sockets are ok, but the water resistance is not significantly increased - there are connection sockets that are also IP X9 certified.
    What is much worse for me: energy is lost when charging wirelessly. I don't know how much this is today. Certainly to be overcome with a single cell phone. But with hundreds of millions there is of course a huge achievement that is simply burned.

  2. If Apple were to do without a physical interface, I would have to do without Apple.
    I have been using my smartphone as a measuring device, data logger, OBD device, etc. for ages.
    Buying the entire infrastructure from scratch, if it were ever available at all, is disproportionate.
    Then a Samsung has to serve as a tool and for phone calls I just take a Raspberry with a rotary dial ????????, I have something too.
    Apple would simply go over the top ...

  3. Futuristic - visionary ...
    ... and for most of us unimaginable and therefore absurd ...

    But what would Apple have been without futuristic, visionary and absurd ideas? !! Steve Jobs not only "beamed" us science fiction into the present day ????!
    And since his death, one has constantly told his “heirs” that it is now over with innovation from Apple - and now it’s not right again?!? !!!

    Just think two or three steps further….

    1. I'm with you. In the beginning it will be unfamiliar and of course work has to be done on efficiency, but in the long term it should be possible to implement something that is also practical.

  4. Whether cable or not is not the question for me, but rather the connector is the problem. For me it is completely incomprehensible why Apple did not generally enforce the magnetic connector from the Macbook Air as a standard. Regardless of whether Apple or other devices, the first defect is usually the plug or the socket. The motto should be plugless! Doesn't necessarily have to be contactless with the mat, right?

    1. The magnetic connector is ok for power, but if you're pushing data through (such as on the iPad Pro USB-C to external storage) then you want a "solid" connection, because a magnetic connection won't have the reliability of a connector, and an interruption in writing to a hard drive can render the entire platter unreadable. That would be unfortunate...

      1. Hi, your statement is correct when it comes to Ipad etc.
        With the Iphone, the plug is at a disadvantage compared to the magnetic socket.
        I've never had to access my iPhone by cable. A friend of mine is limited in his manual skills due to illness, for whom I got such a simple magnetic adapter plug on the net, he is overjoyed with it.

  5. Elizabeth Hillebrand

    There are better ways to avoid e-waste. There should be the
    EU come up with something better. With every new device there is always a new cable. And other devices such as e-books and cameras also need them. Should they also be standardized? I would miss Lightning very much. If so, could I buy an iPhone in the UK?

    1. You can always buy an iPhone in the UK. But I doubt Apple will bring out its own model for the EU market. : D

  6. The loss of a plug would be anything but pleasant in my opinion at first, but we don't even know how Apple will implement it.

    It would be conceivable to have a light, small charging mat that holds onto the device magnetically and thus enables the iPhone to continue to be used despite charging.

    We also know that Apple is doing an excellent job in the area of ​​wireless connections between iMac, MacBook, iPhone etc.

    Let's be surprised before we chase a cow through the village;)

Post a comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked with * marked

In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.