On September 7, 2016, Apple introduced the iPhone 7 without 3.5-audio and showed that ready to ditch outdated connectors without a doubt… The world was outraged, but agreed. The competitors laughed, but copied that too.
In 2021, Lightning is no less obsolete: it lagged behind in charging power and data transfer speed. It is believed that Apple is not improving it precisely because it wants to remove it. This is also hinted at by rumors that appear with enviable regularity.
There are already rumors online about an iPhone 13 without a Lightning port
The first connectors could have lost another iPhone X
Apple planned to abandon ports in the iPhone X. Mark Gurman announced this in mid-2018. She did not dare to do this just because she could not achieve a high Qi charging speed and did not want to further increase the price of an already expensive gadget.
In mid-2020, an insider with the nickname Fudge told the world that Apple was actively testing a new iPhone with a USB-C port. However, in the end, she abandoned this interface. Apparently, due to the size and openness, on which we will dwell.
Shame the USB-c prototype iPhone 12’s arent making it to production. 1 more year of lightning 🥳😭
Oh well, at least smart connector on 13 series
— Fudge (@choco_bit) May 25, 2020
Then he noted that an analogue of the Smart Connector will appear in the iPhone 12. And I was not mistaken: in October 2020, Apple added the MagSafe magnetic interface to all new smartphones. It supports fast wireless charging and needs certification.
MagSafe is not just a new way of charging iPhone. It is also a whole ecosystem of additional accessories: covers of interesting shapes and sizes, desktop and car holders, flashes and other things for shooting.
Obviously today MagSafe is only at the first stage of its development. Further development of the interface promises an abundance of new possibilities, further increase in charging power and, perhaps, high-speed data transfer.
Which of the new iPhones of 2021 may lose all connectors
Rough example of what the bottom of an iPhone 13 might look like without Lightning
At the end of 2019, Min-Chi Kuo made a realistic forecast for 2020 and 2021, the first part of which has already been confirmed. According to him, there should be one experimental top-end iPhone this year without Lightning and other ports.
There are two scenarios for the development of events:
❶ Apple could expand its already bloated range of smartphones with a new format model. Perhaps it will be devoid of the usual Face ID or it will receive a folding design in the manner of Samsung’s Galaxy Fold line.
A similar situation was observed in 2017. On September 12, the company introduced the flagship of a new format called the iPhone X. It lost the thick bezels around the screen and the fingerprint scanner. Instead, it received a new sensor and a steel case.
❷ Today Apple already has two main lines of smartphones: basic and Pro. In the latter, all new features of the company appear, such as the third camera in the iPhone 11 Pro or the LiDAR space scanner in the iPhone 12 Pro.
The company could strip a pair of iPhone 13 Pros from the Lightning port and bundle them with MagSafe, conventionally, second generation backward compatible. In a couple of years, other Apple smartphones will also get rid of the traditional port.
Why is Apple interested in releasing the iPhone 13 without connectors
The popularity of the iPhone makes Apple an attractive target for regulators
In 2018, Nikita Goryainov very competently laid out on the shelves why Apple is obliged to abandon the Lightning port: we recommend reading. In short, the European Commission is putting pressure on the company over the need to standardize methods for charging smartphones.
This organization is respected by manufacturers for a reason. They are afraid of her because of the possibility of running into a substantial fine. Google has already joked with the European Commission and paid about $ 5 billion for it.
MagSafe – the universal outlet for Apple
Of course, in 2018 there were no realistic rumors about MagSafe yet. Therefore, Nikita suggested that instead of the proprietary Lightning, Apple would be forced to switch to open USB-C, but, apparently, the company will be able to do many times more cleverly.
It’s no secret that Apple makes good money on the Lightning accessory certification program called MFi: it makes a couple of dollars from every cable or other accessory sold. Imagine the amount of potential lost profits.
MagSafe is the solution. On the one hand, Apple can certify accessories for him and continue to earn. On the other hand, the new interface Supports Open Qi Charging, therefore, should be arranged by the European Commission.
Benefits of iPhone 13 without ports for ordinary users
The next level of water resistance for the iPhone will be a wow factor
Apple will be able to improve the waterproofing of the iPhone. The company’s modern smartphones are certified according to the IP68 standard: they can be submerged under water to a depth of 6 meters for up to 30 minutes. Damage warranty won’t cover, but still.
For comparison: Apple Watch Series 6 shows 5 ATM – the manufacturer guarantees their tightness to a depth of 50 meters. It is unlikely that the iPhone 13 will be able to show as much, but there will definitely be progress in the right direction.
Where is it even thinner? One more millimeter will definitely work out
The new iPhone can get even thinner. Inside the new smartphone, additional space will be freed up, which can be used to reduce the body. It is also possible to increase the battery or introduce new components.
The market will be filled with new Qi accessories. Apple is considered a trendsetter for a reason. If the company ditches traditional connectors, third-party manufacturers will definitely expand their range of wireless chargers.
Qi is the most versatile charging standard
All manufacturers will come to the same standard. In the future, following Apple, competitors will also abandon conventional connectors, so the market will come to a single charging standard. It will be Qi, not USB-C, as previously thought.
Apple will start developing new technologies. In the context of MagSafe, the company would like to see the possibility of reverse wireless charging. It would be useful for interacting with AirPods and other accessories.
The rest of Apple’s gadgets will become wireless. This is not the case for iPads and Macs, which will remain with USB-C, but the company could definitely get rid of Lightning ports in headphones and other gadgets. Not immediately, but in the long term.
Disadvantages of iPhone 13 without the usual Lightning for you and me
What to do with Lightning cables when Apple ditches the port?
Familiar accessories will become useless. A whole fan of Lightning cables, as well as other additional pieces that connect to this interface, will gradually have to be sent to a landfill, or better for recycling.
You will have to take additional cables with you. The process of ditching Lightning will definitely be a gradual one. At least the release of new gadgets with him on board hints at this. This also applies to the new AirPods Max.
Case makers will be severely limited. They will be required to implement MagSafe in all their cases or adjust to the Qi realities. Recall that wireless charging does not work through cases that are too thick or metal.
MagSafe cases will definitely get more expensive
The cost of cases and charging will definitely increase. As production becomes more complex, the price of the corresponding accessories will definitely increase. Only thin plastic and silicone will remain unchanged, without MagSafe support.
Apple is unlikely to boost charging speeds anytime soon. Modern iPhones are capped at 7.5W for Qi wireless stations and don’t support more than 15W for MagSafe. Even Lightning with Power Delivery now clocks in at 18-20 watts.
IPhone self-service will get harder. Fans of regular flashing smartphones using iOS test builds will clearly not be happy with the abandonment of Lightning. They obviously cannot restore the brick without a service center.
We draw similar conclusions based on the experience of using the Apple Watch. It is highly undesirable to flash them for beta just because it will not be possible to roll back to a stable watchOS or perform other manipulations.
Summing up: can Apple release an iPhone without ports
Variety of iPhones without ports
The answer is unequivocal: Yes!
Apple has a great new way to charge smartphones and connect additional accessories to them, MagSafe. It supports Qi, therefore it covers the requirements of the European Commission for standardization. But it, like Lightning, needs to be certified.
For ordinary users, there are both advantages and disadvantages to leaving Lightning. On the one hand, MagSafe will provide a flood of interesting new accessories. But, on the other hand, it will force you to abandon the existing ones.
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