How and why Apple would remove iPhone’s Lightning port

Apple's flagship iPhone 11 Pro Max 512GB Midnight Green model retails for $1,449.
Apple’s current flagship, the iPhone 11 Pro Max 512GB in Midnight Green

Last week, TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted in a note to clients that Apple will launch an iPhone in 2021 that doesn’t include a Lightning connector for a “completely wireless experience.”

Jason Snell, Macworld :

I’m sure that, as with the headphone jack, there’s an argument that removing a mandatory port opens up space inside the phone for other technology, more battery, or both… Perhaps the removal of the Lightning port might be another step on the road to creating an iPhone that’s truly waterproof, not just water resistant.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup.

A port-free iPhone would be perfect for significantly increasing water resistance while also saving space that could be used for more battery or other components – it’s a win-win!MacDailyNews, December 5, 2019

All of the issues that arise with a completely sealed iPhone can be solved with a “Super Smart Connector” that features high-speed MagSafe charging and data transfer for things like older vehicles with wired CarPlay via a simple magnetic attachment.

Do it, Apple!


  1. I just spent a half hour going to a presentation site (where I’m giving a talk) to check that my 2019 MacBook Air, with the adaptor, will connect to their standard projector. All my adaptors are making me crazy. My old ones are no good and I need new ones.

  2. I’m not with the “save space for larger batteries” brigade. These monstrous phones are getting too damn big and heavy. Please return to making your iPhones as thin and light as possible, Apple.

    1. Considering that from an Electrical Engineering & Physics standpoint that a non-contact style interface will be volumetrically larger for the same capacity …

      … you’ve not saved anything for phone packaging.

  3. Apple has gotten really abusive to their users, looking for any damned excuse to sell more dongles and make things not work. “Wireless experiences” suck! You have to dig through the interfaces and menus of two different devices from different manufacturers and you will never know what will work, or work badly, or fail. And of course no two wireless headphones sync the same way.
    It is just so much easier to plug in with a port that everyone has.

  4. As long as there’s a connection point that provides a physical link and it’s NOT 100% wireless. People who need to record high-quality audio with iPhone (and iPad) need more than a wireless connection. It doesn’t need to be a “port” that creates a hole. It can be on the surface with magnets.

  5. Wireless only is fine for charging. Apple would need a magnetic holder like on the Apple Watch to help with charging on the go.
    It will be hard to back up. 64-256 GB takes time on wireless.
    I wonder whether a smart connector that is on the iPad would work for both charging and data transmission.
    I personally would like the Lightning port to be replaced by usb-c. Then all my apple devices could be charged using wireless or usb-c.

  6. I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it. The iPhone going to 100% wireless connections is just plain stupid.
    Charging an iPhone wirelessly is much slower than charging it wired.
    Backing up an iPhone wirelessly is much slower than backing it up wired.
    Updating iOS or apps is much slower wirelessly than updating them wired.
    Data transfers are much slower wirelessly than transfers done wired.
    The list goes on and on.

    And don’t try to give me any crap about new wireless protocols and such being faster than they are now. Wired will always have the ability to be faster. So, you’re going to charge at 30+ watts charging wirelessly? Not unless you’re willing to heat up both that stand and your iPhone! (The conversion from wired to wireless in the stand is lossy and the conversion from wireless to wired battery charging within the iPhone is lossy so both generate heat.)

    It’s atypical, but sometimes I have awoken in the morning to my iPhone saying I need to update 20+ applications. It can take over 20 minutes to do that wirelessly (on an strong 802.11ac WiFi connection) and eat up more than 25% of the available battery energy. When I do such a thing wired it can take as little as 1/4 that time (and zero battery drain as it’s plugged in!)

    As I said, completely eliminating a wired port is just plain stupid.

    And, just for the record, absolutely NOTHING is “water proof”. Everything is more or less “water resistent” to some extent. Even a bathyscath is “water resistent” to a prescribed depth. Only someone who has no idea about what they are talking used the term “water proof”.

  7. MDN speaks like the ghost of Ive past.

    Here’s how Apple could eliminate the Lightning port: by installing a USB-C port and, on some models at least, a reliable “it just works” headphone minijack.

    Anything else would be a huge step backwards in convenience, efficiency, and compatibility.

    No, travelers don’t want to carry around a charging puck. And less than 10% of customers want to pair a >$1k phone with a whole slew of new wireless dongles. Get over yourselves, Apple.

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