It’s time for iOS devices to make the switch from Lightning to USB-C

“It’s time for Apple to migrate iPhones and iPads from Lightning ports to USB-C,” Ben Lovejoy writes for 9to5Mac.

“You can argue that there’s nothing wrong with the Lightning socket, but if you think back to 2012, there were plenty of people arguing that there was nothing wrong with the old 30-pin dock connector,” Lovejoy writes. “There was outrage at the time, and it was a pain for me personally, as I had quite a few 30-pin accessories, but I doubt anyone would want to return to the old connector today. We all acknowledge that the Lightning port is a vast improvement over the 30-pin connector, and that the switch was – with hindsight – the right thing to do.”

“Apple has already gone all-in on USB-C for Macs, so why make us mess around with two different connectors for different devices?” Lovejoy writes. “I look forward to the day when all I need carry is a USB-C to USB-C cable to be able to charge any device, and connect any two devices together. That’s the benefit. One cable to do it all is elegant. The type of elegance for which Apple is famed. So let’s have an elegant solution.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Ready for another iPhone and iPad port change?


  1. I highly disagree. I personally think the next transition is wireless. We are getting close to a future where everything can be transmitted or charged wirelessly. Why change ports when you can get rid of them all together. Same with the SIM tray, I guarantee that Apple will ditch it for eSIM when the technology is fully ready.

    1. Exactly. The proposal for USB-C ports on IOS is a short sighted one.

      Apart from charging, I rarely use the Lightning port on my IOS devices because pretty well everything else is done wirelessly. Wireless charging is now a feature of new IOS devices and will soon be ubiquitous.

      It doesn’t make sense to change to a new connector when physical connectors are about to become redundant on IOS devices.

      The argument for having USB-C on Macs is a good one because they need high charging current and the ability to interface with external devices, but that doesn’t usually apply to IOS devices.

      1. And this is THE reason Apple added wireless charging. They ignored it for a long time, correctly saying it was of little benefit. But now they want to pave the way to drop the port. With most people already charging wirelessly the resistance will be minimal. Most people won’t care or notice. Unfortunately a few will be genuinely inconvenienced and may need to pause on the upgrades for a generation or two. A few more will notice very, very loudly indeed, as always, but it won’t matter.

        1. Most people are not charging wirelessly. That will likely be true one day, but it’s not true now. Frankly I’m surprised that Apple would endorse this until the efficiency improves. Anyone have an estimate on the global difference?

          1. Not yet, I agree. Two or three generations of iPhones to get there I expect. Certainly not enough to bother changing ports in the meantime. I’m also not charging wirelessly yet.

      2. Agreed – Apple will go port-free wireless first. It suits their “design theme”, even when it carries serious customer UI issues.

        But this also misses an important point, which is that not all peripherals benefit from USB-C, much as one wouldn’t put a 700HP V12 on a moped…some use cases simply aren’t practical.

        It is for the same reason that killing USB-A ports on Macs was also foolish.

      3. I hear you….. but how i wish ios devices had convenient and practicsl i/o setups for external devices like mac does.
        its a big inconvenience for me to be handicapped there.

  2. Being as I’m “stuck” with my rMBP mid-2012 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD (because the latest MBPs are simply too expensive and don’t really offer a performance upgrade that would justify the price of the computer and all the docks I would need for home, office and on the plane), it’s of no concern to me. I own literally EVERY type of Apple device except the HomePod. None of them have USB-C. So I’m good as is…

  3. NO NOT AGAIN PLEASE, leave it as it is and go straight to Wireless charging. With the old 30 Pin i could use on my Ipad 3 retina and 4s iPhone. Then when i got the 6s the 4s apple charger stand was obsolete. Now i got 2 different wires for my old iPad and iPhone SE. Dont need this again, had to rebuy the iPhone stand charger from apple again for the smaller pin charger.

  4. Loving the Anker iPhone wireless charging stand for my iPhone X. I would say at this point not to bother until you can eliminate that port altogether. (Though it’s always nice to have a hard connection capability.)

  5. USB-C can offer faster charging and will allow you to use for both Mac and iDevice. However the adaptor needs to have a higher power output to work with a Mac.
    I do love the wireless charging on my iPhone. I have a stand by my bed and it charges over night without having to mess with wires. It is a great solution for the office or bedside table.

    1. It doesn’t do you any good to have a really powerful charger when the iOS device can’t accept more power (well, without overheating and/or catching fire)…

      …and when one looks at how much larger Apple’s USB-C charger is for their MBP, the prospects of deliberately carrying one of those for charging up an iPhone is a non-starter. As such, you’re not going to achieve a “one charger for all” solution.

  6. I would love a usb C type connection. I do not really like the lightning cable. It always seems that the pins on my cables wear out so quickly compared to other cables and then they no longer work and I need to purchase another cable again.

      1. Unfortunately, Apple’s use case assumption is that users will only use cables for charging while the device is not in use.

        To dare to keep it plugged in while sitting in a chair/etc will very reliably kill OEM cables, as Apple’s design has grossly inadequate stress relief. Get fed up and buy a better quality non-OEM cable in your local Apple Store (to avoid any counterfeits) and then watch an iOS update de-authorize it in around a year. I have two of those at home now.

    1. Hate to say this, but if you’re breaking Lightning cables, the Apple Store drones will tell you “you’re holding it wrong” … been there!

      And since the USB-C cable is thicker than the Lightning cable, it is going to be more, not less, vulnerable to strain failures.

  7. I say bring on USB-C…

    Faster charging, much faster syncing, and a industry standard connector… and it’s still reversible which was the whole point of lightning…

    the transition won’t be nearly as bad as lightning was from the 30-pin cable and they’re already using USB-C on their other devices…

    I hope while they’re at it though, that they add in more capability for OTG drives…

    A simple API that prompts “Do you want to allow [app name] access to attached storage?” would be awesome and make VLC amazingly useful and open up a ton of possibilities…

    but of course, external storage would also cut into Apple’s profit…

    1. “Cut into Apple’s profit”
      In what meaningful way? People who want to pay for content will pay for content, people who don’t want to pay for content won’t. There ARE reasons for blocking access (as witnessed by the devices that use the port to break into your device), but profit isn’t realistically one.

      Especially since once you’ve bought the device, they’ve got the biggest chunk of profits right there. Even if you’re using external storage with a phone, ya still had to BUY the phone in the first place.

  8. I recently purchased a wired keyboard. This is because I seek to reduce risk to my health. Wires contain the risky RF signals within the wires themselves – it’s a way to control them – while wireless devices broadcast RF signals outside the wires, all around even into that very finely tuned and sensitive electric computer, the brain and all the other organs, as well as the unprotected fetus that some Fundies irrationally refer to as an “unborn child”. And it’s super good to minimize cumulative risk. Therefore, I favor wires, disfavoring wireless.

    1. Unless your wire is heavily shielded, you’re not accomplishing a whole lot. Most USB cables are not designed to block the frequencies created during energy and data transfer that are supposedly “safe”. Maybe if you wrapped it in tinfoil?

  9. And if Apple goes totally wireless, expect more lawsuits due to the fact that wireless charging depletes your battery cycles faster than wired charges. I can here them howling already.

  10. Wireless anything sucks. Phones need wited connections. The question is whether the beancounters at Apple would be willing to give their customers a superior USB-C, or whether Apple will continue to hold their customers over a barrel with ridiculously overpriced and poorly designed white accessories and dongles.

    USB-C is the way to go for all portables at this point.

    1. DARN STRAIGHT!!! I see people prancing about all the times with their wireless phones like they’re the cock-of-the-walk! Phones NEED wired connections, EVERYONE knows that. That’s why if you’re using a phone without a wire coming out of it YOU ARE A RUBE, A SCALAWAG, AND A CHARLATAN!

      Sit at home on your Chesterfield like a gentleman and use a phone with a wire, all you ne’er-do-wells!

  11. I heard that many of the current USB-C headphones are not that good or cheap right now. On the other hand, Lightning was designed to pipe audio and you can get good, cheap ones easily.

    I don’t believe that’s a problem with the USB-C port per se, but maybe a challenge that hasn’t been seriously addressed yet.

    1. Not directly a problem with USB-C, no, but a problem with a standard that is expected to do so much. And in almost every case, lightning does the job as good or better. WITH the added benefit that Apple doesn’t have to deal with the MILLIONS of people that would buy a cheaper USB-C cable that would then fry their phone.

      As long as lightning and the MFI program exists (and as long as the majority of USB-C accessories in the market don’t meet the specifications), there will always be lightning ports on Apple devices.

  12. When I bought my MacBook Pro I had to learn about USB-C. I had to buy a few cables (they were not expensive), but I now love USB-C. I wish that our phones and iPad could use USB-C today. Using an inexpensive USB-C power supply I can now charge my MacBook in the car. LOVE IT! Reversible end-for-end. Love it! Wife’s work laptop uses USB-C power supply. LOVE IT!. I now stream HD from MacBook to TV using HDMI adapter cable. Love it! You guys who say wireless charging is almost here, I am not waiting. Sending large amounts of power wirelessly — without risks to human health — could take a long time — or maybe never. I hope it happens but I am unwilling to stand still until it happens. Let’s move forward. USB-C exists today. Let’s move! If Apple adopts the industry standard USB-C (which they helped to create) it will demonstrate that they put customers first. Let’s move!

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