Sketchy report claims 2018 iPhones won’t use Lightning port

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iPhone Lightning connector
Are we nearing the end of the Lightning era?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

This year’s iPhone lineup will come without a Lightning connector, according to a sketchy new report out of Asia.

Apple is expected to use an alternate method of charging and syncing that will please a lot of iPhone users. However, it could mean that all your existing iPhone accessories will no longer be compatible.

Introduced with the iPhone 5 in 2012, Lightning is a huge improvement over the 30-pin dock connector employed by older Apple devices. It has helped make the iPhone, iPad, and iPod slimmer, and given Apple more room to cram in new technologies like the Taptic Engine.

But Apple could be about to swap Lightning for a standard that’s just as small and even more versatile.

2018 iPhone lineup to adopt USB-C?

The 2018 iPhone lineup will use a USB-C connector instead, according to a report from Digitimes that cites sources in the supply chain. Apple is already using USB-C for charging and everything else in its latest MacBooks, and some fans have been calling for the same for iOS devices.

USB-C is a do-it-all connector that handles charging, data transfer, audio, and video. It has become the new standard for Android devices and ultraportable notebooks, making USB-C cables and accessories more affordable and easy to find.

USB-C coming to iPhone, one way or another

Having a USB-C port rather than Lightning on iPhone would allow Apple users to use the same cables and charging accessories across all of their devices. However, it would also mean that the Lightning accessories you already own will no longer be compatible without an adapter.

Another interpretation of Digitimes’ vaguely worded report is that Apple will simply upgrade the charger that comes with 2018 iPhones.

Instead of the USB-A charger that come with current iPhones, this year’s models might come with a fast-charging USB-C charger, as previously reported.

In that case, the cable that comes with 2018 iPhones might have USB-C on one end and Lightning on the other.

Don’t fret about losing Lightning yet

Don’t think about ditching your Lightning accessories just yet, though. Digitimes doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to predicting Apple’s next move, and it seems highly unlikely that the company would ditch its own Lightning standard entirely.

USB-C connectivity would almost certainly make things easier for iPhone and iPad users in the long-run, but we know that Apple likes its proprietary connectors. And Lightning is just fine as it is.