The End of Apple's Lightning Cable?

The End of Apple's Lightning Cable?

Lightning Cable and iphone

With the announcement at the recent Apple event that the new iPad Pro would feature a USB-C port over its flagship lightning connector, could we be seeing the start of a phase-out of this technology from other product lines in the future? To a degree, the shift away from lightning connectors to USB-C on Apple products makes sense for 3 reasons...

  1. USB-C could be considered the universal standard, as it's supported by the majority of modern tech products, with most smartphones, tablets and notebooks. Apple has proprietary ownership of its lightning technology and therefore lightning ports and cables are only found with Apple products. This obviously creates difficulties when you want to connect up Apple devices to products outside of the range.
  1. Apple has already started to adopt USB-C on its MacBooks and Macs, therefore, it would make sense to eventually make the switch over on future IOS devices to ensure each product remains compatible with one another.
  1. While USB-C connectors are slightly larger, they can handle more power and offer faster charging and data transmission making them generally superior to lightning connectors.

While these reasons present a strong case for Apple to make the shift towards adopting USB-C across all devices, the overall situation that the company faces isn't exactly cut and dry. For one, at present there are no mandated standards for USB-C that manufacturers have to abide by, the only rule is that the connector is shaped correctly and plugs into the right port. This obviously paves the way for inconsistencies amongst products, with certain USB-C cables performing slower than others and some offering more or fewer features.

None of this is news to Apple. Years ago the company considered adopting USB-C when first looking to drop their old 30-pin connector. No tech manufacturer, however, could essentially agree on what USB-C should actually be and the standards it should have, and therefore Apple decided to instead branch off and make their own connector for its products. In essence, there are nuances to the USB-C technology that has not been fully addressed yet, however it is not out of the question to suggest that Apple may create its own USB-C standard similar to the current Thunderbolt 3 cable.


Wireless Charging - The Alternative Solution

Another case could be made that Apple should simply drop the need for a cable altogether with its iOS devices, in favour of wireless charging instead. Each model since the iPhone 8 can be charged via inductive plates, therefore, making wireless chargers an increasingly popular smartphone accessory, despite Apple having yet launched an official charger themselves.

Apple could, therefore, make the decision to drop the port entirely from its next-gen smartphones and simply use USB-C on just it's MacBooks and iMacs.

Air Slim Inductive Charger and iphone
Wireless Inductive Phone Stand


Type C Adaptors or Type C Cables from USB2U

It is likely that Apple will continue to adopt Lightning connectors on most of its products until late 2019 and even if the switch to USB-C does occur, this does not necessarily mean that the company will automatically drop its support for Lightning entirely- Apple, for one, still sell their 30-pin cable years after the connector was discontinued.

What this information does tell us, however, is that people's use of technology is continuing to grow and with it, there is almost an expectation that devices nowadays should be universally compatible with one another and connect without any hassle.

In terms of compatibility between USB-C and lightning devices, USB2U offer a number of promotional cables such as the 3-in-1 Keyring Cable which have built-in adapters allowing users to switch seamlessly between different connectors without the need for multiple cables. Our Credit Card Deluxe Power Bank is another great example of a promotional product built to be universally compatible, having both a dual Micro USB and Lightning cable alongside a USB-C adapter.

Taking cables and connectors out of the equation entirely, we also have a range of branded wireless chargers, which have proven very popular with our customers with products such as the Air Slim Inductive Charger and Sleek Wireless Stand being two of our best sellers.

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