It looks like perhaps Apple thinks it hasn’t yet removed enough accessories from its iPhone packaging, with the company now pondering whether iPhone buyers even need the USB cable to be included in the box.
While there’s no definite evidence that Apple will actually remove the USB cable, it’s clearly weighing its options with a new survey being sent out that appears to be targeting new iPhone 12 owners, which among other things asks them which of the included accessories they actually use, including not only the USB-C to Lightning cable but also the Apple stickers and the SIM ejection tool.
This latest survey, which was shared by a 9to5Mac reader, seems eerily famliar — back in July we heard reports of a similar survey going out to iPhone users in various countries asking iPhone owners about their included USB power adapters, and we all know what happened there.
So could this latest survey be a harbinger of things to come? It’s hard to say for certain, but it’s clear that Apple is at least testing the waters for its future iPhone models, and while removing the USB to Lighting cable is likely a bridge too far, we don’t imagine too many users would shed many tears over the loss of the included Apple logo stickers, which already got cut down to only a single sticker with this year’s models.
Face ID vs Touch ID
What’s more interesting about this recent survey, however, is that it also appears to be probing for feedback on the Face ID feature, asking whether users are satisfied with it or have specific issues.
Users who respond that they don’t like Face ID can offer up one or more of the following reasons:
- Security of privacy concerns
- I don’t like having to pick up my phone to use Face ID
- Slow performance
- It does not detect my face in all situations (such as low light, different angles, lying down, wearing sunglasses)
- I prefer Touch ID
- Not reliable; does not always unlock the iPhone
- Not sure
The survey notably doesn’t ask anything specifically about masks, although obviously that’s become a big problem these days; presumably the response that it doesn’t work in all situations would include those users who have become tired of having to key in their passcode much more often than they used to — while Apple sped up the process in iOS 13.5 so you don’t have to wait for Face ID to fail, you still have to unlock your iPhone the old fashioned way once it does.
There have been rumours circulating since long before the current pandemic that Apple was planning an iPhone for 2021 that could include both Face ID and Touch ID, either with an in-display fingerprint sensor or even just by adding it to the power button like it did with this year’s iPad Air, so it’s easy to see how this latest survey could be designed to help Apple gauge interest in order to decide how and when to move forward with such a plan.
There’s also a very good chance that we’ll see an updated iPhone SE within the next two years that will follow in the footsteps of the new iPad Air, adopting the iPhone 12 style design but omitting the Face ID TrueDepth camera in favour of a side button Touch ID sensor.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that the iPhone is at something of a crossroads right now, with rumours that Apple is ultimately working towards a fully portless and wireless model, and it’s just taken a huge step in that direction with MagSafe, so the question of whether or not to include a USB cable could soon be entirely moot if future iPhones no longer use wired connections anyway.