ZD Tech: iPhone, the slow death of the Lightning port


ZD Tech: iPhone, the slow death of the Lightning port

Hello everyone and welcome to ZD Tech, ZDNet’s daily editorial podcast. My name is Guillaume series and today I’ll explain like the port of lightning is dying a beautiful death.

Apple’s Lightning port has been under threat for some time. But the coup de grace came recently from the European legislator, who put the USB-C port on the table to charge all smartphones, laptops and other computing devices. Clearly, the future of the iPhone will pass through the USB-C port, whether Apple likes it or not.

What is remarkable about the European decision is its scope. It covers all smartphones, tablets, e-readers, headphones, digital cameras, headphones and earphones, handheld video game consoles and portable speakers. Curiously, smartwatches are not included in this list.

Aside from some oxidation issues, the Lightning port did the job quite well.

But before we go any further, here’s a little reminder of what the Lightning port was. Because yes, the iPhone dates back long before the Lightning port. This port was introduced in iPhones in September 2012 with the iPhone 5.

Before the 8-pin Lightning connector, there was a 30-pin connector, which was used on iPhones and iPods.

And aside from some oxidation issues, the Lightning port did the job quite well. It is a solid, well-designed connector that has stood the test of time.

Apple’s different options

So what will Apple do in the face of the European ban? Several options are available for the American giant.

On the one hand, Apple could stop selling its products in Europe. Yes, this is an unrealistic option. So there are two options left.

One of them would be switching to USB-C. And this is a very feasible option. Because Apple already uses USB-C on some of its devices. And switching from Lightning to USB-C would be painless enough for Apple and its customers. This could allow the iPhone to maintain backward compatibility with the huge ecosystem of existing devices and accessories by offering a dongle for those who need it.

The other option would be to remove the door completely. Namely, go completely wireless for charging and data transfer. It is a very interesting solution. Imagine a world without wires.

Apple likes to simplify

And it’s best to go wireless now. It will be less painful for long-term customers.

Above all, Apple likes to simplify. And if the company can no longer generate revenue from the Lightning Connector licenses, I think Apple will abandon the port altogether.

The problem therefore is to know what will happen to the many accessories that depend on a Lightning connector. I don’t see Apple drawing a line under all these devices and sending them to landfill.


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