WATCH | Goodbye, Lightning?
First the headphone jack, and now this...
According to a new Wall Street Journal report, Apple is considering scrapping its proprietary Lightning port on the upcoming iPhone in favor of the USB Type-C plug featured on most new Android phones and Apple's latest MacBooks.
The switch would bring Apple's third charger type since the iPhone launched in 2007. In 2012, Apple's original (and huge) 30-pin connector was replaced by the slim and reversible Lightning plug, appearing first on the iPhone 5.
There isn't a huge difference in size from Lightning (the iPhone on the top) to USB Type-C (the MacBook on the bottom).
A MacBook USB Type-C connector (left) and a Lightning connector (right).
USB Type-C, like Lightning, can operate as a peripheral port, meaning it can connect the phone to headphones and storage devices, too.
Of course, if Apple sees this switch through, those Lightning headphones you just bought for your shiny new iPhone 7 -- those would need an adapter to connect with the next iPhone. Sorry.
Apple fancies itself a green company, so the choice to adopt USB Type-C into more of its devices could be environmentally motivated. After all, e-waste mitigation was one of the reasons so many companies have jumped aboard the USB Type-C train; because there will be less reason to throw out an old phone charger if it fits your new phone.
Beyond that, Apple has always been about simplicity and user experience. Arranging your ecosystem in a way that all of your devices operate on the same charging port certainly jives with that mission.