Apple killing the Lightning port may be the next step to a truly wireless iPhone

The iPhones of the future may be wireless, portless and buttonless.

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen
2 min read

The Lightning port on the iPhone X.

Josh Miller/CNET

The headphone jack went extinct on iPhones starting with the iPhone 7. Now it seems like the Lightning port may be the next to go.

Apple has considered removing the Lightning port on the iPhone Xaccording to Bloomberg, citing unnamed "people familiar with the company's work." While earlier rumors suggested that Apple would remove the Lightning port in favor of USB-C, Apple's goal may be to remove all ports entirely.

Bloomberg's report is about the challenges that Apple faces with its AirPower wireless charger, but it also shares some details about Apple's vision for a wireless future. The report says:

Apple designers eventually hope to remove most of the external ports and buttons on the iPhone, including the charger, according to people familiar with the company's work. During the development of the iPhone X, Apple weighed removing the wired charging system entirely. That wasn't feasible at the time because wireless charging was still slower than traditional methods. Including a wireless charger with new iPhones would also significantly raise the price of the phones.

Apple may be working towards an iPhone that is devoid of all buttons and ports, and is completely wireless. But there are obstacles that Apple has to overcome to make this possible. iPhones rely on the Lightning cable for charging, file transfer, audio and all sorts of accessories. While there are some wireless alternatives (like wireless charging, and connection over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi), not all of them are as fast or easy as using a wire.

Not everyone likes the idea of Apple ditching the Lightning port.

If Apple does decide to retire the Lightning port, there's no word on when it'll happen.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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