03 Mar
Could Apple really be dropping the Lightning Port?

The upcoming iPhone 8 is already the source of intense rumors. Many Apple fans were a bit underwhelmed with the iPhone 7 as it featured essentially the same design philosophy as the 6th generation, and offered only modest hardware improvements. Also, Apple dropped the headphone jack, which infuriated many Apple fans. Instead of a headphone jack, the iPhone 7 featured only a lightning port and required users to buy special lightning port compatible headphones, or else use Bluetooth.

Now, it looks like Apple could be on the verge of dropping the lightning port! No, Apple isn’t going port-less just yet. Instead, Apple is rumored to be dropping the lightning port in favor of USB-C, which has been increasing in popularity across the industry. If true, many iPhone 7 users could be upset, with their lightning earphones and cables already on the verge of obsoleting after only a year!

Debunking the rumours

We’re not quite ready to accept these rumours just yet, as they raise a lot more questions than answers. Will Apple really be rid of the lightning port all together, even though they only just stated that lightning allows for better sound quality with earphones? Will the headphone jack return alongside the USB-C? Surely, they wouldn’t have both USB-C for charging and lightning for sound?

It seems to us that if this change is made, it would be likely that the headphone jack would return (hurray!), and that could be difficult for Apple to explain! If it doesn’t return and there is only a USB-C connector, will they supply their £159 Bluetooth, wireless AirPods in the pack? We think not…

The lightning port is unique to Apple, and an entire ecosystem has been built around it. All manufacturers of lightning cables should use only MFI (Made for iPhone, iPad, iPod) certified connectors. This certification comes at a cost per cable sold which goes straight into Apples pocket from third party resellers. Ever wondered why lightning cables tend to be more expensive than USB-C or Micro-USB? That’s why!

The lightning port has only been in use for about five years, making it a relatively new technology. Apple would also be opening up the market to more competition with other accessory manufacturers.

Why might it be true?

On the other hand, USB-C is admittedly more versatile, is being widely adopted by other companies, and appears to offer faster data transfer. Furthermore, Apple’s most recent iteration of the Macbook featured only the Thunderbolt 3 charging input and USB-C inputs. So, Apple’s shift to USB-C could be inevitable.

In any case, we’ll be keeping a close eye on ports. Making sure that our iPhone and other cases are compatible with ports is one of our top priorities. We have already had a lot of success designing port compatible cases, so we’re not worried about the rumored switch, just a bit surprised should they be true! The only downside if our suspicions are wrong, a few QDOS members might find themselves potentially with out of date iPhones, but such is life!