Apple loves proprietary ports and cables. The company has leaned into this for years, and, despite what the rest of the industry is doing, relies on these to help differentiate its own products. With the iPhone and other products we’ve seen this with the 30-pin connector, and, right now, the Lightning cable. But it has felt like Apple’s been moving away from Lightning for quite some time, and, surprisingly, has even done so in some areas.
The iPad Pro, for instance, uses USB-C to handle its input/output efforts. And while the MacBook lineup has never used Lightning, it, too, switched to USB-C as its standard port not too long ago. It wasn’t a surprise that when the MacBook switched to USB-C rumors began swirling that the iPhone would be close behind.
Those rumors only increased when the iPad Pro dropped Lightning for USB-C.
And yet, here we are in 2019 and the iPhone still has a Lightning port.
Worse, the rumor mill has painted a pretty clear picture that the 2019 iPhone lineup is going to feature a Lightning port yet again. Though, those same rumors also suggest that this year will be the last with Lightning, as Apple will probably adopt USB-C for the iPhone lineup in 2020. Which certainly isn’t impossible, but it’s not a guarantee, either. Just like it hasn’t been in years past.
My car supports CarPlay, Apple’s in-car infotainment system. It connects via the USB port in the car, and the Lightning port in the phone. Pretty standard stuff. But when/if Apple switches to USB-C in the future I’m going to have to get a dongle. Which isn’t great, but, honestly, after today’s fiasco of trying to find a single Lightning cable I can’t wait for the day I need to buy a dongle.
I needed to charge an iPad mini and, for whatever reason, the stock Lightning cable that came in the box was missing. Which meant I had to go on a hunt. And while I found plenty of different white cables all of them were USB-C and for other Apple product. Worse, when I did finally find the Lightning cable I then couldn’t find an AC adapter that wasn’t USB-C, too.
I’m obviously not asking for Apple to somehow retroactively add USB-C ports to all these older products, because that would be silly. But it does feel like it’s time for the company to finally just move ahead and adopt USB-C across its product lineup — which is basically the iPhone at this point. The Apple Watch’s wireless charging puck connects via standard USB, so that will have to be switched at some point in the future, too.
I don’t have an issue with proprietary cables by default. But when the company starts phasing them out on its own, and yet refuses to do so for its most popular product, it can get pretty frustrating. Or just plain dumb.
What do you think? Is it about time that Apple supported USB-C in the iPhone lineup? Did you switch away from Apple’s smartphone because it still supports the Lightning cable? If so, will you switch back if Apple adopts USB-C for its smartphones? Let me know!