Love it, or hate it, but it looks like the proprietary Lightning connector is here to stay on the iPhones. And as per the latest research note (via AppleInsider) by TFI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is not going to ditch the Lightning connector in favor of a USB Type-C standard on iPhones anytime soon. And the decision to do so apparently has a lot to do two key reasons – profits and longevity.
|“We believe that USB-C is detrimental to the MFi business’s profitability, and its waterproof specification is lower than Lightning and MagSafe. Therefore, if the iPhone abandons Lightning in the future, it may directly adopt the portless design with MagSafe support instead of using a USB-C port”|
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In case you’re wondering, MFi stands for Apple’s Made for iPhone (MFi) program, which allows Apple to license the proprietary technology to other brands for making compatible accessories. In addition to iPhones, it also covers accessories for iPads, iPods, and the Apple Watch (both wired and wireless accessories). Naturally, Apple makes a lot of money from its Lightning and MagSafe program and wouldn’t want to get rid of its cash cow.
Additionally, it also appears that the open-end design of Type-C connectors might not be as resistant to water-related damage as the Lightning connector and the wireless MagSafe chargers. While that might be true, Apple’s own charging cables have been plagued with fraying issues for a while now, and not much has changed over the years, but things might improve in the near future if new Apple patents are anything to go by
MagSafe might be a hurdle for USB-C on iPhones
Another reason for the Lightning port to stick for a few more years, as per Kuo, is that the MagSafe ecosystem is not mature enough. While third-party MagSafe accessories are yet to be widely adopted, the revived wireless charging standard also happens to be quite slow. It can only deliver up to 15W power, while rivals on the Android ecosystem already offer 30W wireless charging support (and even higher. Maybe, Apple will wait a few more years to speed up MagSafe?
If Apple plans to boost the charging speed on iPhones, it will likely stick with the good’ol wired solution, and preferably, the moneymaking Lightning port instead of USB Type-C standard. In fact, Kuo boldly predicts that Apple will likely go portless before it adopts the USB-C standard for iPhones.