Apple is expected to deliver at least one iPhone model without a Lightning connector next year, according to a new Barclays report.
The device won’t make the switch to USB-C, as previous rumors have predicted. It is instead expected to rely solely on wireless connectivity options for both charging and data transfer.
Barclays analysts also believe that this year’s iPhone refresh will bring an improved TrueDepth camera system that could mean even better Face ID.
A growing group of iPhone fans has been calling for Apple to swap Lightning for USB-C for years. Those calls grew even louder when Cupertino introduced its newest iPad Pro — its first iOS device with USB-C — in late 2018.
Over a year later, it still seems unlikely Apple will make that move. But it could be planning to drop Lightning for an entirely different solution altogether.
iPhone to bid goodbye to Lightning in 2021
Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis, Baylie Harris, and Thomas O’Malley today report that at least one iPhone coming in 2021 will arrive without a port altogether. It will instead rely solely on wireless connectivity options.
Those options are already available, of course. Apple has been pushing us all toward Bluetooth headphones since it dropped iPhone’s headphone jack in 2016. We already have the ability to sync and transfer data over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. And wireless charging has been available on iPhone since 2017.
Many still prefer to use cables for charging and data transfer due to the significant advantages in speed they provide. But there’s no doubt that the future is shaping up to be a wireless one for mobile devices. And it’s no surprise that Apple is the one pushing it.
Barclays’ report echos recent claims from reliable TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has also predicted at least one high-end 2021 iPhone will provide a “completely wireless experience.”
And for 2020
The report goes on to offer some details regarding the 2020 iPhone refresh. Analysts expect this year’s lineup to feature “refreshed” TrueDepth sensors, indicating some improvements to Face ID.
The new TrueDepth technology is expected to provide a boost for Apple supplier Lite-On Semiconductor.
iPhone 12 Pro models could also feature rear-facing time-of-flight (ToF) for 3D sensing, the analysts say. This would provide new capabilities to augmented reality applications.
Finally, the Pro models are expected to pack up to 6GB of RAM — up from the 4GB installed in iPhone 11 Pro.