Home Gadgets iPhone 12’s Lightning port often is the subsequent factor Apple kills-Autopresse.eu

iPhone 12’s Lightning port often is the subsequent factor Apple kills-Autopresse.eu

iPhone 12’s Lightning port often is the subsequent factor Apple kills-Autopresse.eu

iPhone 12’s Lightning port often is the subsequent factor Apple kills

2020-11-01 11:00:03

Patrick Holland/CNET

Ports have been a fixture on cell phones since their inception — relationship all the way in which from the iPhone 12 again to “dumb telephones” from a long time earlier than. However even relating to ports, Apple has executed issues its personal means. In 2012, the corporate made its personal equipment out of date when it switched from a 30-pin connector to a proprietary Lightning port, despite the fact that USB-C is broadly accepted because the common connector. (There are Lightning-to-USB-C cables, nevertheless.)

But when long-running business rumors are to be believed, Apple is planning to kill the Lightning port on the iPhone, making means for a very portless cellphone. One of many newest indications we’re shifting nearer to this port-free life is Apple’s introduction of MagSafe on the iPhone.

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The wireless charging system relies on an embedded array of magnets that snap the iPhone 12 onto a MagSafe puck. To charge your iPhone 12, rest it on the circular charging pad, then wait for the charging indicator on the screen to confirm it’s working. This eliminates the need for a Lightning connector, and while Apple kept the port on the iPhone 12, it did remove the wall adapter and wired earphones from its box.

After the addition of MagSafe, a wireless future seems inevitable for the iPhone. It offers a glimpse into Apple’s vision where a cord-free iPhone accessory ecosystem is made possible by magnets, not ports.

“Wireless technologies have reached a level of maturity where a portless device is much more viable than it’s ever been,” said Tuong Huy Nguyen, senior principal analyst at Gartner.

Some Chinese phone-makers have also beaten Apple to the punch, launching portless phones of their own. And many examples of emerging tech, like VR headsets and smart glasses, are wireless too. Whether Apple will head down this path remains to be seen, but there are many reasons why the time is right for Apple to finally introduce a portless iPhone. 

An iPhone 7 Plus with Lightning port sits atop a Google Pixel 2 XL with USB-C port.

An iPhone 7 Plus with a Lightning port sits atop a Google Pixel 2 XL with a USB-C port.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Apple is making more things wireless

Ports are a practical conduit for phones to deliver three key functions: charging, data transfer and audio output. Before adding MagSafe to its phones, Apple developed AirDrop and iCloud for data transferring. As for audio, Apple kicked off the mainstream trend of wireless earbuds in earnest when it introduced the first-gen AirPods in 2016. 

Apple also unveiled a MagSafe-compatible leather wallet that clips on to new iPhones and costs $59.


MagSafe is the wireless bridge to wired accessories

MagSafe is Apple’s answer to wireless charging for the iPhone 12. But to convince more people to live without a Lightning port, Apple needs to offer a wireless bridge for other wired accessories. MagSafe seems to serve exactly that purpose, opening up possibilities for a whole new world of iPhone attachments that magnetically snap on.

These accessories could include “game controllers, camera grips, selfie sticks and, yes, wireless charging battery packs that could change the way we hold or interact with an iPhone,” according to CNET executive editor Roger Cheng.

A few official MagSafe accessories we’ve already seen include Belkin’s car dock and a combo iPhone/Apple Watch charger. The move to MagSafe also indicates that iPhones probably won’t get USB-C.

Apple keeps improving wireless charging

After holding out for years, Apple embraced wireless technology in 2018 when it added support for the Qi-based wireless inductive charging standard to its iPhone 8 and iPhone X. Apple initially limited the power to just 5 watts, but later boosted it to 7.5 watts via a software update. This was an indication that Apple was regarding wireless charging not as a specialty feature, but as a necessary one. 

There’s also chatter about a new wireless charging pad in the works to replace AirPower, which was ultimately canceled before it had a chance to hit the market. Rather than charging multiple devices simultaneously like the AirPower promised, this Qi pad would likely charge one device at a time. 

Apple’s MagSafe charging system relies on magnets to autoalign the charging puck with any phone from the iPhone 12 family.


Now Apple says MagSafe works even faster than Qi chargers. Its charger now offers twice the amount of power at 15 watts, which could bring it on par with the Quick Charge technology that Android phones have long enjoyed. Admittedly, Apple has some catching up to do versus Chinese competitors such as Xiaomi and Oppo, but overall the industry is charging forward. 

For many years, wireless chargers have been painfully slow compared with their wired counterparts, taking nearly twice as long in some cases. But that gap is narrowing. Earlier this year, Oppo launched a 65W wireless charger, dubbed AirVOOC, that it says can fully charge a battery in 30 minutes. Meanwhile, Xiaomi is working on an 80W wireless charger that promises to fully refill a 4,000-mAh battery in under 20 minutes.

Apple has killed once-standard features and will likely do it again

Apple isn’t above axing popular product features even if people crave them years after they’ve gone. Apple killed the DVD disc drive in its Macs, for example, and it bid farewell to the headphone jack by removing it from the iPhone 7 in 2016. Longtime Apple executive Phill Schiller said that took “courage,” positioning it as an innovative shift away from outdated technology. “It makes no sense to tether ourselves with cables to our mobile devices,” Schiller said when Apple unveiled the AirPods at the same event. 


Apple unveiled its first-gen AirPods in 2016 alongside the iPhone 7 line, which were the first iPhones to ship without the standard 3.5mm headphone jack

Though many decried the move, other phone-makers followed Apple’s lead. Samsung, OnePlus, Google and others dumped the 3.5mm headphone jack from their flagship phones soon after, leaving a USB-C port in its place.

Apple still sells tens of millions of iPhones and AirPods every year, proving that many people are willing to adapt to its newer tech.

“A smartphone is a device with limited space for all the components, but it will also be important for the smartphone makers to provide better or more functions to stay competitive,” said Research Manager Will Wong at IDC’s Asia Pacific. “Thus, a portless phone is likely to be an unavoidable trend.” 

A portless iPhone will allow Apple to better differentiate between models

Apple analyst Ming-Chi- Kuo predicts that Apple will launch a portless flagship iPhone by 2021. Kuo reported that having a wireless phone will “create more differentiation” between top-tier iPhones and base-model iPhones. Going by iPhone 12 naming standards, this would mean it’s possible that the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max would be portless, while the iPhone 13 Mini and regular iPhone 13 would keep their Lightning port.

“We expect that the highest-end model would cancel the [Lightning] port and supply the utterly wi-fi expertise,” Kuo wrote in a 2019 report.

Differentiating extra between fashions may make it simpler for Apple to command larger costs for its fancier iPhones. These would goal individuals with larger budgets who care about being on the chopping fringe of Apple’s expertise. 

Apple would not be the primary to experiment with a port-free cellphone

Apple normally is not the primary to leap on cell phone developments. It wasn’t the primary to launch telephones with 5G or wi-fi charging, and we have but to see a foldable cellphone from Apple. So it isn’t stunning that there are already portless telephones in existence, both. Chinese language phone-maker Vivo launched a port-free and button-free Apex idea cellphone final 12 months, which depends on a magnetic clip that connects behind the cellphone for charging. It additionally has digital pressure-sensing buttons as an alternative of bodily buttons, however it’s not out there for the mass market but.


Chinese language phone-maker Vivo launched a port-free idea cellphone final 12 months known as the Apex 2019 (pictured) that it adopted up this 12 months with the Apex 2020.

Aloysius Low/CNET

No ports would additionally imply extra sturdiness

Each time Apple closes off a port, a refrain of criticism over compelled obsolescence tends to comply with, amongst different issues. Some iPhone customers really feel Apple is robbing them of completely high-quality enter factors. 

These accusations apart, sealing off ports may make iPhones extra sturdy. The logic is that this: Having no ports means fewer seams and subsequently fewer alternatives for mud and water to get into the cellphone. It additionally means fewer factors of vulnerability for cracks. 

Apple has been equipping its iPhones with options designed to enhance sturdiness. This 12 months the corporate positioned emphasis on the ceramic defend display on its new iPhone 12 fashions. It additionally launched water resistance to iPhones in 2016.

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