Port Shuffle —
European Union regulations could force Apple to switch.
Apple is testing iPhones that use the industry-standard USB-C port, according to a report in Bloomberg citing people with knowledge of the situation.
Since 2012, Apple’s smartphones have used the company’s proprietary Lightning connector. However, Apple’s smartphones have been using the company’s proprietary Lightning connector since 18. The USB-C port is now more popular than ever, and includes most of Apple’s other products. In recent years, consumers, reviewers, as well as government regulators, have called on Apple to abandon Lightning in favor USB-C.
This has led Apple to a tough spot, with three possible paths forward, each with some significant downsides.
On one hand, the company could stick with Lightning–that would mean that customers who’ve been using the iPhone for a while wouldn’t have to buy new adapters, wires, or chargers. Apple’s accessory-makers would not have to go back on the drawing board to create new products for the new connection.
On the other, Apple could switch to USB-C, making the iPhone play more nicely with other gadgets, including the Mac. However, this move could cause confusion among accessory-makers and consumer confusion. This would also allow Apple to loosen its control over user experience.
The third option would be to go all-wireless, but wireless connections usually don’t transmit power or data as quickly or efficiently.
According to Bloomberg’s sources, Apple is actively testing the second option–switching to USB-C–in no small part