In September 2012, Apple iPhone 5 introduced – It was bigger, faster and more powerful than its predecessor, but perhaps the most revolutionary change was how you charged it. on stage To introduce the new phone, Apple’s marketing chief Phil Schiller announced that the company was switching from the 30-pin connector that was on every iPhone and to a smaller new port called Lightning. The Lightning appeared to be everything its predecessors and competitors weren’t: reversible, compact and strong. Schiller called it “a modern connector for the next decade”.
Fast forward to 2022, and the connector has lived up to the decade Schiller promised. Every iPhone still comes with a Lightning cable, and the cable is a reliable way to charge devices and connect to accessories and cars. But as Lightning approaches its 10th birthday, I, and many others, are ready for Apple to close the book on this connector and make a big difference in the way we charge our phones. It’s not because Lightning is technically out of date; This is because another port has overtaken it in a key area – ubiquity.
To be clear, Lightning was – and still is – a very good connector. The port was revolutionary compared to everything else on the market at the time. The 30-pin connector was large, and the micro USB ports were finicky and hard to plug in. In contrast, the Lightning port was both small and impossible to mess with, a thread so obvious it’s a wonder it took anyone so long to get there. Apple’s competitors suddenly took a hit in terms of charging, data syncing and overall convenience of the phone.
The Lightning connector was technically efficient as well. Even today, the port is fully capable of how most of us use our phones – it can charge the modern iPhone from dead to 50 percent battery. about half an hour, With the right cable, you can plug a set of headphones into it; And it will also carry 1080p video signal. It’s also capable of achieving USB 3.0 speeds, even if it isn’t widely supported, I can’t really think of anything that I need to do with my phone that Lightning can’t do. That’s not usually the case with connector standards that have been around for a decade – certainly, standards like XLR and the 3.5mm headphone jack (which is dead may never die) have been around Way Long, but they also don’t do as much as Lightning.
But for all its strengths, there’s one thing Apple’s connector isn’t: universal. In 2022, most of our devices use a reversible, versatile port to charge and connect—and it’s not Lightning. USB-C is on basically every Android phone, and it’s the default port for various gadgets like GoPros and game consoles. Even Apple uses it as the premade connector for all its MacBooks and almost all iPads.
These days, few of the devices that are missing actually use Lightning. You’ll find it on the iPhone, a model of the iPad (for now), and some accessories, such as Apple’s Magic Mouse, Magic Keyboard, and AirPods. That means if you have an iPad Air and iPhone, or a MacBook and Magic Mouse, or a Windows laptop and a pair of AirPods, you’ll need at least two separate chargers to power them.
Is this the biggest problem in the world? Not at all But it creates a bunch of little inconveniences when you’re traveling or around friends with USB-C-equipped phones, or even sitting on that part of the couch where only your laptop charger reaches. Is. (Okay, that last one might just be my problem.)
Unfortunately, it don’t think so Apple is planning to introduce USB-C to the iPhone lineup with the upcoming iPhone 14. But regulators forced Apple to get rid of Lightning on phones as quickly as possible. European Union is is in process To make USB-C a legally mandated charging standard for phones. Apple could always sell USB-C phones in Europe and Lightning everywhere, but it’s hard to imagine Apple’s revenue cuts continue Third-party Lightning accessories would make up for the added cost and complexity of selling the iPhone with two different ports.
recent rumors has been suggested That Apple’s 2023 iPhones will include USB-C as a response to EU law. This would put Apple about a year ahead of the proposed fall 2024 deadline, which makes sense — if the company wants to continue with its standard operating procedure of making last year’s phones, it should have USB-C as well. needed. Adding the connector to the iPhone 15 will allow Apple to continue selling the iPhone 16 without any problems after it is launched, possibly around 2024.
However, I regret to inform you that Apple May be able to skirt around EU laws By removing the physical port entirely and going completely MagSafe wireless charging, eg ever-present rumors can suggest. This would be a worse option than switching to USB-C, in my opinion – it has a lot of downsides, like forcing people to upgrade older equipment and cables, potentially leading to a spike in e-waste. And a few downsides for many more consumers. But somehow, it looks like Lightning’s reign is nearing its end.
If the iPhone was literally the only gadget I used, I’d be in no hurry to see the Lightning connector turn off—I plug my phone in to charge, listen to music, or get out of my car several times a day. sync, and it’s likely to do a great job at those tasks for another decade to come. But I, like many others, use many other devices, all of which rely on USB-C. My iPhone, AirPods, trackpad, and Apple TV remote have become mild inconveniences to charge in a sea of devices that focus on making my life easier as a consumer.
Not that Apple should be ashamed of Lightning; It counts as an eternity in the smartphone market and influences other manufacturers to take on a standard that is both competitive and convenient. Apple can take pride in the work it’s done and feel it’s time to move on—and when someone spends over $86,000 For the novelty of owning an iPhone modified just for USB-C, it’s definitely time to move on.
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