Of all the rumors that have surfaced regarding the 10th anniversary iPhone, this is probably one of the most controversial. We all know there’s a thing called “Apple-exclusive” and that exist from the beginning. From iOS, to its proprietary hardware, embedded software and ports, we see that Apple wants to make its own standard, and perhaps, that’s what their hefty price means.
Now, from the rumors of the iPhone 8 having a bezel-less display, to the removal of the physical home button (like what Samsung done on its upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8), and changing its display size from 5.5” to a 5.8”, we can say that the iPhone 8 tries to compete with its major competitor. However, the fact that Apple utilizes their own port of choice – which is Lightning, is a different aspect to talk with.
Rumors from Apple insiders and investors are surfacing about the removal of the Lightning port on the upcoming iPhone 8 in favor of the new USB-C, which many 2016 and 2017 flagship Android phones are already using. It’s also worth mentioning the line of Apple’s 2017 MacBook Pro and the 12-13” MacBook, which are already equipped with the aforementioned port.
The news actually came from well-sourced KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a well known insider when it comes to Apple’s affairs. He contradicted a report from the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, which cited anonymous sources saying that Apple was dropping the port on the new iPhones in favor of the industry-standard USB-C port. That could have set off a wave of criticism after Apple just last year eliminated the headphone jack from iPhone, promoting using headphones that plugged into the Lightning port.
HOWEVER, The actual change in relation to USB-C will be that the new iPhones will support faster recharging by supporting a technology of the USB-C standard for power delivery, Kuo explained.
Of course, we all know that it would be great if WE CAN USE A SINGLE CABLE TO CHARGE EVERYTHING. From our Android smartphones and iPhone, to our MacBook and laptops (which I assume are equipped with USB-C, tho), and everything else that comes equipped with the said port, including the Nintendo Switch. But, what’s the catch (or the reason) why Apple might hesitate to adhere with the world’s standards?
First and the foremost, is profit. Yes, we all see that Apple is making a large chunk of money from its own Lightning port. How? Think of the licensing cost every third-party company pays Apple in order to be able to manufacture a cable or a dongle (that’s pretty huge on its own). And also, we all know how do Apple price their cables, right? They’re pretty costly that you don’t want to get another one in case you destroy your cable, but because you need it, you don’t have any choice. Even third-party cable manufacturers have this absurd pricing, making the profit margin for Apple a bit higher.
Second, iPhone 7 users might get frightened. With the removal of the headphone jack in exchange of a Lightning port, the term “dongle-life” started. Third-party companies who manufacture Lightning-only accessories will be also affected, since usually the deals in terms of licensing a proprietary port doesn’t last only for a year, meaning that companies will not abort the production that really fast. And users, will have no use of their Lightning accessories in the future if that happened – meaning that iPhone 7 users might NOT UPGRADE to the next iPhone because they will see that they wasted money on buying accessories which they can’t use in the near future.
However, we still don’t know until the iPhone 8 comes out. If the port replacement happens, this is the first time that Apple, a company known for its exclusivity, adheres to a world standard. Like what I’ve said before, tech enthusiasts and even normal users alone would be happy because they have a universal cable for everything. They will not worry about cable replacement anymore, and they will benefit the speeds and features of the USB-C, which in all terms, beats the Apple’s proprietary Lightning port.
We are looking forward to the next iPhone and see what Apple will offer to lure its customers.
A little source of info: Fortune
Photo by Chris Ratcliffe—Bloomberg via Getty Images