Each day it gets harder to comprehend why Apple still uses the lightning port in its most popular device: the iPhone. The port was introduced in 2012 with the release of the iPhone 5 and since then, the vast majority of competitors have made the switch to USB Type-C.
In fact, the only reason that Apple ever got the chance to introduce the port was through a loophole.
From a business standpoint, Apple having its own port is great. Apple taxes third parties which create accessories for the iPhone or AirPods with the lightning port. This means that for every accessory you buy from a company, Apple gets a significant portion of that revenue. Apple estimated there are over a billion devices with the lightning port, along with hundreds of millions of accessories that also have the port.
So if Apple suddenly switched to USBC on all their devices, then all previous chargers would become unusable. That would result in gargantuan amounts of waste piling up just from those chargers and accessories alone.
Apple changing the port would also result in many upset customers, seeing as that fancy docking station or that portable charger with the lightning connector built-in would become obsolete.
Right now, you’ll find three ports that major phone brands are using: USBC, Micro-USB, and Lightning. For comparison, a decade ago, there were dozens of different ports.
European politicians have attempted to stop this by encouraging companies to adopt a universal charger for all smartphones. Doing so would reduce waste, and improve compatibility. However, Apple doesn’t seem to be heading that route anytime soon. In fact, the company is planning to make the iPhone completely wireless. We could see this around 2021 or 2022.
Do you think Apple should switch to USBC?