Apple’s Lightning standard may be on its way out as the company slowly moves its lineup over to USB-C. This year, the company’s iPhones may be the next devices to make the switch.
Reports of a USB-C iPhone aren’t new. Past rumors have suggested that Apple will swap Lightning for USB-C in the next few years. But now, there’s a small but notable piece of evidence in the first iOS 13 beta that could suggest that this year’s iPhones will ditch the Lightning port.
iOS 13 Recovery Screen
Twitter user Raphaël Mouton posted an image on Friday that reportedly shows a new recovery screen in iOS 13 beta 1.
Notably, the screen pretty clearly shows what appears to be a USB-C cable pointing toward a computer.
In past versions of the iOS, the recovery screen displayed a Lightning cable. There’s a clear difference between the two.
To be clear, this isn’t necessarily concrete evidence that the 2019 iPhone lineup will make the jump to USB-C.
For one, the USB-C end is the one pointing toward the computer. That could simply mean that Apple is going to package a Lightning to USB-C cable with its 2019 iPhones, instead of a USB-C to USB-C cable.
But taken together with past reports and rumors, it’s starting to look even more probable that this year’s stable of iPhones could feature the more universal port standard.
Past USB-C Rumors
Earlier this year, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that Apple was testing several 2019 iPhone prototypes that had USB-C ports instead of Lightning ports. Japanese blog Macotakara also forecasted in January that USB-C would be coming to the 2019 iPhone lineup.
Even back in 2018, a supply chain report published by DigiTimes suggested that Apple could axe the Lightning port on its 2019 iPhone lineup in favor of USB-C.
These reports didn’t always appear to be likely — switching a proprietary technology for a universal standard would be fairly uncharacteristic for Apple.
But Apple has already been laying the groundwork for USB-C iPhones. Its MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air devices have only sported Thunderbolt 3/USB-C connectors for several years now. And since last year, the iPad Pro is now USB Type C-based.
Benefits of USB-C
Switching to USB-C would boost data transmission and charging speeds on Apple’s iPhones. It may also help users consolidate their charging gear, as a USB-C to USB-C cable would allow Apple users to connect their iPhones to their MacBooks or iPad Pros without the use of a dongle.
Apple could also begin packaging its new 18W power brick with its USB-C iPhones. That would mean that the devices would come with fast charging in the box. Like Qi wireless charging, USB-C is also much more of a universal standard. iPhone users would be able to swap charging cables and accessories with their Android friends, and vice versa.