It’s starting to look like the logical conclusion of Apple’s current iPhone design pattern is a device without any ports. That may not just be speculation at this point, either. Last week, oft-accurate TFI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple may skip switching its iPhones over to USB-C in favor of removing physical ports entirely by 2021.
As you might expect, that decision will no doubt be controversial. We fully expect a reaction akin to what happened when Apple nixed the 3.5mm headphone jack.
While iPhone users will undoubtedly survive the transition, there are some serious questions regarding what Apple is going to do about current and future charging and data transfer systems.
What’s the Problem?
As one iDrop News reader pointed out, most CarPlay receivers require a wired connection at this point. While wireless CarPlay systems are becoming slightly more common, widespread adopting will likely stretch beyond the first wireless iPhone’s release date. Without a Lightning port, CarPlay would be rendered useless for most people.
It doesn’t just stop at CarPlay, either. While many data transferring tasks on an iPhone can be carried out wirelessly, there’s no doubt that a wired connection is much more efficient for many tasks.
Charging speeds would also take a hit, unless Apple develops some type of efficient (and safe) high-speed wireless charging. In the era of USB-C Quick Charge, even the fastest Qi wireless chargers are downright sluggish in comparison.
But, of course, there were serious arguments against Apple’s decision to kill the headphone jack, too. With options like AirPods on the market now (which weren’t even around back then), many people forgot about the 3.5mm port.
It really comes down to use cases. Besides charging, when was the last time you plugged your iPhone into a computer or other accessory?
While not everyone has switched over, there are plenty of wireless options available for smartphones. Bluetooth for audio, AirDrop for data transfer, backups through iCloud and over-the-air software updates, just as examples.
The question, at this point, is how Apple is going to make those wireless options comparable to current wired ones.
Until Apple can prove that its “completely wireless experience” is just as efficient and powerful, users will remain skeptical. And, at least in this scenario, probably for good reason.