No, Apple Isn’t Dropping Lighting for USB-C on the iPhone 8

Apple sticking with Lighting instead of switching to USB-C for new iPhones

A report from earlier this week said Apple is abandoning the iPhone’s Lightning port in favor of USB-C, and now we’re hearing that’s not the case. Instead, Apple will stick with the Lightning conector and add support for USB Type-C power delivery for faster charging.

Apple sticking with Lighting instead of switching to USB-C for new iPhones
Apple isn’t killing the iPhone’s Lighting connector after all

Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal reported the iPhone 8 would sport USB-C instead of a Lightning connector, which didn’t sound like a change Apple would make this year. I suspected the sources misinterpreted what they knew, and instead Apple would include a Lightning to USB-C cable in the box.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors, “We believe all three new iPhones launching in 2H17 will support fast charging by the adoption of Type-C Power Delivery technology (while still retaining the Lightning port).”

My hypothesis still stands, and it looks like now we know where the misinterpretation happened. Type-C power delivery will be built into the Lightning connector, and it’ll be supported on all of this year’s iPhone modes and not just the 8. Translation: Apple is including a Lightning to USB-C cable with this year’s iPhone models, and they’ll let our smartphones charge faster than before.

Faster charging is great, but it comes at a price. If you don’t have a Mac with USB-C support (right now, that’s the MacBook and late 2016 MacBook Pro) you can’t connect your iPhone without an adapter or a traditional Lightning to USB A cable. In essence, Apple will push the need for a dongle back to older computers.

Adding Type-C charging won’t help older iPhones or iPads juice up any quicker even though the new cable will support it. Type-C charging requires compatible chips, likely coming from Cypress and Texas Instruments, so connecting the new charger system to an iPhone 7 or older won’t have any benefit.

The still rumored iPhone 8 is expected to include an edge-to-edge OLED screen, an on screen finger print reading zone for Touch ID instead of a Home button, 3D sensing front-facing camera, wireless charging support, and more. It’s expected to be announced this fall along with the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, but will ship a few weeks later than the other models.

[Thanks to Mac Rumors for the heads up]

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