Apple could kill the Lightning connector on the flagship iPhone in 2021, according to reports. We take a look at why this is significant and what needs to be fixed before we can be totally wireless on this week's Apple Core wrap.
Will Apple release an iPhone with USB-C?
First they came for our headphone jacks. Now, they're taking our ports. Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reported that from the flagship iPhone released in 2021.
We first heard iPhone X having no ports. But that didn't come to fruition and the iPhone X, iPhone XS and iPhone 11 lines all have Lightning connectors. It also looks to continue this way until the iPhone 12 range is released., when rumors pointed toward the
Kuo predicts that having a totally wireless phone will help differentiate the flagship iPhone from all other models in the lineup. Having no physical ports mean iPhones will have less moving parts and it can improve water resistance or make more room for a bigger battery. Another report says Apple's going to change the release schedule of phones: instead of releasing all the new phones in September each year, there may be some in the first half of 2021 and others in the second half -- presumably the more premium, portless version.
We've also seen other rumors indicating that Apple may bundle AirPods with the new iPhones, which makes sense if we get a portless phone. Apple would not be the first to experiment with a portless phone: Other companies have shown off concepts, like the from earlier in 2019.
Apple's been warming its users to a life without Lightning cables for a while now. First, the iPhone came with wireless charging, then the AirPods followed suit, and this year we finally got the USB-C to Lightning cable with the iPhone 11 Pro.
But there are problems with wireless charging. Right now the iPhone taps out at 7.5 watts. But we've seen phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus come with faster Qi wireless charging. Apple will need to quicken its wireless charging times if it wants to remain competitive .
Apple will also have to address how its phones will sync with systems like Apple CarPlay, or backing up to a computer without Lightning. Vehicles from BMW and Audi support wireless CarPlay but upgrading a car is a more cost-prohibitive than a phone.
iOS 13.3 is here with hints about new Powerbeats
Apple rolled out an update to iOS 13.3 recently that 9to5Mac reports that a hidden nugget in the release points to a new version of Powerbeats coming soon. Strings in the iOS code indicate that they will have "Hey, Siri" support and potentially the option to read incoming messages from your iPhone, just like the AirPods Pro. It's expected that they would also have the new H1 chip.for screen time. But
The wireless earbuds would presumably replace the Powerbeats 3, released in 2016. Apple also released the Powerbeats Pro earlier in 2019 with support for "Hey, Siri."
Originally published in December 2019.