Why Apple is expected to stick with Lightning over USB-C in next-gen iPhone 8

“There’s a lot of smoke about the ‘iPhone 8,’ or whatever it’s ultimately going to be called. Some of the signals say USB-C will be used as the phone’s main interface, but most of them don’t say anything at all,” Mike Wuerthele writes for AppleInsider. “Despite rare rumors to the contrary, Apple will probably stick with Lightning this time around.”

“To borrow a phrase from Steve Jobs, USB-C is still a ‘bucket of hurt’ [sicbag of hurt“] for Apple. If it stays with Lightning, it antagonizes the crowd that wants to see universality,” Wuerthele writes. “If it shifts, it annoys peripheral owners, even if a low-profile adapter is provided at low cost, like Apple did after the shift to 30-pin.”

“No doubt, USB-C is solid. The connector itself has about the same resistance to damage as Lightning, and is positioned as a universal, small port for cross-platform use. In our experience with the MacBook Pro and MacBook, the connector succeeds admirably,” Wuerthele writes. “The shift to USB-C for the iPhone is inevitable, but it probably still isn’t this year.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What’s the connector on Apple’s brand new AirPods’ charging case? That’s right, it’s Lightning.


  1. “The shift to USB-C for the iPhone is inevitable, but it probably still isn’t this year.”

    This is the problem that I have with this. IF there is a transition from Lightning to USB-C, the sooner it’s done the better.

    Otherwise, we end up just buying more and more new Lightning based peripherals like the AirPods.

  2. Lightning is also a proprietary connector. I imagine they have to pay a license for USB-C. Lightning is another way to keep costs down (and profits up)

  3. Lighting is definitely more robust since the male connector is thicker than the enclosed male part in USB-C. You can hold a phone up on it when attached to a stand.
    USB-C is good but not as easy to connect as Lightning (but obviously better than the older USB.
    I’ve been looking for alternative ways to charge my MBP outside of the supplied charger so I don’t have to move the main charger around. Unfortunately, most USB outlets don’t provide enough juice to charge an MBP. So even if Apple went with USB-C, a power connection for a phone would not work for a laptop and the power from an MBP might actually damage the phone.

    1. Lightning isn’t more robust. That’s a myth. The male connector on USB-C can’t be leveraged, and the connection points are enclosed to prevent potential shorting hazards (also allows for higher power output).

      As far as compatibility between Macs and iPhones… a Mac charger would be able to charge an iPhone without any problem. Going the other way, a charger without enough power will either take longer to charge or not charge at all. The point is though that you’d be able to have one charger, be it in your car, home, travel, battery, that could charge any USB-C device Mac, iPad or iPhone.

      Other than legacy and perhaps preference of ease of connection, there’s no benefit of Lightning over USB-C.

    2. Not gonna cause damage. The PMU determines the draw of power to the device. I can plug a MacBook Air into a compatible adaptor for my 15″ MacBook Pro and the shift from 85W to 45W is managed by the computer, not the adaptor. I have 0 of the 5W adaptors for my home. I use all the 12W to keep universal for my iPads and other devices when I need to grab a charger. This is how the new MacBook Pro models can have multiple adaptors plugged into the USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports simultaneously and not burn up. It’s all managed by the PMU.

  4. Last December, I bought a new MacBook Pro 15″ laptop with TouchBar in Space Gray. People may say it is overpriced for the specs and tech inside, but I love it as it is replacing my 2010 MacBook Air that is beginning to show its age and has its quirks and issues.

    So, I will have to be envious of people who purchase the tenth anniversary iPhone and I’ll have to settle being content with my iPhone 6 Plus for a while longer. But maybe when my bank account allows and I upgrade my iPhone, it will have all the best features of the tenth anniversary phone plus USB-C. Of course, my first generation iPad needs updating and my late 2012 iMac desktop will also need updating in a few years. Dang you Apple, your branching out into mobile tech is going to be the financial ruin of me! ,,, but, it’s true…

    1. USB-C is great as long as you stick with Apple stuff. You know it won’t be cheap crap and all their cables are capable of power handling. Too bad the prices went back up…

  5. My last three Apple purchases were a MacBook Pro, 17″ retina, new iPhone, and an iPad Pro, the big one. What a great suite of equipment to carry around when I’m on the road with family, or to use when I’m in my home office. And, if I really want to travel light and solo, everything fits quite well in the bags on the back of my Harley Davidson Road King. Sometime during the course of this year I’m going to buy a new anniversary iPhone and an Apple Watch and a pair of earbuds. I’m excited about it.

    Needless to say I fell in love with Apple when I bought my first Apple iPhone some nine years ago. I was so swept off my feet I put a little Apple in my portfolio, too. So now you could say that I’m riding high on the “Hog.”

    I’ll let Apple worry about the goddamn cords. No reason to sweat the small stuff ….

    1. Apple never made a 17″ Macbook Pro with a Retina screen. They aren’t called “earbuds” they are “AirPods”. I’m surprised you didn’t call it an “iWatch”.You sound like a lazy scatterbrain.

  6. Actually, if you check out the JP Morgan rumor mongering article that follows this one at MDN, I posted a comment musing that the iPhone 8 might have NO ports at all! Wireless charging only. Wireless earphones / ear pods only via either Apple’s elaborated Bluetooth 4 or via Bluetooth 5 (which is finally finished and published as a standard).

    1. Then you need to fully restore 128GB of data to a device using wireless means and realize what a bad idea wireless-only is. Should you happen to need to restore 200+ GB of data to a new device, repaired device; etc., you might conclude that life’s too short for Apple’s lazy port strategy. It would kill enterprise iOS adoption, much as last year’s surprise USB-C-only MacBook Pros have killed enterprise and education enthusiasm for that platform. “Take your dongles and shove them,” we Mac admins are saying with increasing fervor to a rudderless Titanic-Apple behemoth steaming into icy waters.

  7. It’s too late to change. Ports are so last year.

    Once Apple incorporate wireless charging in addition to the existing Bluetooth and WiFi for connecting peripherals, there would be drastically less reliance on hard wired ports and therefore changing the connector type so close to that point wouldn’t make sense.

  8. Apple under Jobs: making the most delightful, forward looking personal computing devices to please and empower users

    Apple under Cook: cash accumulation is all that matters. Products that offer personal empowerment, flexibility, customization, are all irrelevant. Big Brother Apple will slowly force you into subscription based computing, Services, always-connected user tracking, and Apple will ignore your requests for Mac hardware updates.

    This is not to say that Apple many times in the past didn’t screw over users with proprietary connectors that cost too much and didn’t function with industry standard ports, but It takes a special kind of stupid for Cook’s team to ignore the simplicity of having a common versatile connector for both Macs and iOS devices.

    Lightning needs to die, and USB-C needs to be universal.

    When asked about this, you may have to explain to Cook what a Mac is. Then maybe after he learns that Apple still advertises Macs, you know what Cook’s answer is: “We couldn’t be more excited about a full pipeline…”

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