Rumours are circulating that Apple may switch from its proprietary Lightning port to a USB-C port for 2019 iPhones, as it seeks to lift struggling sales.
With iPhone sales dwindling worldwide and Apple cutting deals with many other manufacturers across televisions and content, it appears the company are attempting to make up their revenue by abandoning their exclusivity that Android devices eschew.
It has long been rumoured that Apple will transition away from Lightning, especially after introducing a USB-C port for its 2018 iPad Pro models.
In 2018 The Wall Street Journal reported that the as-yet-unnamed iPhone X would use a “USB-C port for the power cord and other peripheral devices instead of the company’s original Lightning connector” but that turned out to be incorrect.
The rumours began with a blog post from Japanese supply-chain Mac Otakara, with the author claiming that Apple may be phasing out its Lightning port in favour of the USB-C connector.
According to the anonymous sources, engineers are currently working on a reference design, but it may not make the 2019 deadline.
DigiTimes has also suggested in a dubiously worded report that 2019 iPhones could feature USB-C ports instead of Lightning ports, although it was unclear if it was referring to the ports or a USB-C to Lightning cable for the iPhones.
Apple was well ahead of the curve with the introduction of Lightning in 2012, and it is only now, six years later, that USB-C is bringing the same level of convenience to Android smartphones and Chromebooks.
Lightning to USB-C is at best a lateral move and a sign that Apple is moving away from its proprietary path.
If true, as the USB-C is about 1-2mm thicker than Lightning it would take up more room on the iPhone, chances are if Apple to do move away from Lightning it will be to go full wireless or adopt something thinner.