After much speculation, we finally have some evidence that Apple will replace iPhone Lightning ports with USB-C connections, just like the iPad Pro.
The image from a French twitter user shows the iPhone’s restore screen. But rather than the familiar image of a Lightning cable pointing towards iTunes, instead there’s the image of a USB-C pointing towards a laptop.
We already know that Apple will discontinue iTunes, but the news about USB-C could be big news, making Apple products more easily adaptable with others. Most importantly, now you can borrow charging cables from your Android-wielding friends.
Related: Best Smartphones
We have encountered rumours of this type before, but last year’s range — the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max — still retained the Lightning port, and even iPads released as recently as March 2019 did not feature USB-C. This restore screen is not an official confirmation by any means though, and it could simply imply you’re plugging in your device via Lightning to USB-C cable.
The iPad Pro 2018 was the first Apple device to make the switch over to USB-C rather than Lightning, and while we praised the change in our review we found that the USB-C was considerably stifled by iOS software; for instance you cannot import photos directly into Lightroom via an SD card when using USB-C, which we found to be very inconvenient.
Most Android phones already use USB-C and it is swiftly becoming an industry standard for smartphones. Apple has until now defied this trend, keeping its exclusive Lightning cable instead. Reuters have previously reported that the EU is considering enforcing an industry-wide standard for mobile phone charging, which may have been enough to prompt Apple to change its hardware.
In the meantime, committed Apple fans might be frustrated that they won’t have one single charging cable to use for their existing iPads and the new iPhone 11. Presumably, though, it will also retain the ability of Qi wireless charging, thereby offering two widely-used charging methods.