Dongle hell might finally be getting a little better next year.
According to a new report from DigiTimes, Apple is planning to replace its proprietary Lightning connector with the more widely used USB-C connector on the iPhone and iPad next year.
Citing sources from Apple’s supply chain, Digitimes says previous rumors that this would happen this year are incorrect, as Apple is still in “redesign phase” and will not be able to make the switch until 2019.
Digitimes has a spotty record when it comes to accuracy of its Apple-related rumors, but this one actually makes a lot of sense. A report in May claimed that Apple will start shipping iPhones with a faster, USB-C charger and a USB-C to Lightning cable in the box.
From there, switching to USB-C completely is the logical step for several reasons. First, everyone else is using it. Second, Apple itself is using solely USB-C ports on its new MacBooks and MacBook Pros. That means you can connect a newer Android phone directly to a MacBook, but you need a converter to connect an iPhone to a MacBook, which is beyond ridiculous. Finally, the port itself is getting less important now that the iPhone X (and, presumably, its successors) is equipped with wireless charging. Perhaps one day we’ll see an iPhone with no charging port at all, though that’s still wishful thinking at this stage.
Apple’s Lightning port is a bit thinner than USB-C, and possibly easier to waterproof, which might make Apple reluctant to make the switch. But there are many thin and waterproof Android phones with a USB-C connector around, so these potential issues shouldn’t be deal-breakers. And yes, iPhone and iPad users are used to the Lightning port. But now that newer MacBooks have gone USB-C only, I bet most of them wouldn’t mind the switch.
Keep in mind that we’re fully in rumor territory here, and 2019 iPhones are likely more than a year away. This year, Apple is rumored to launch three new iPhones — a 5.8-inch, 6.1-inch and a 6.5-inch variant — with two or even all three sporting OLED screens similar to the screen on iPhone X.