In a note to clients — as noted by MacRumors — analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says iPhones will, for the “foreseeable future,” continue to sport the Lightning connector instead of switching to USB-C. However, the Sellers Research Group (that’s me) says the analyst, whose track record is impeccable, is wrong on this one.
Kuo says Apple is reluctant to move to USB-C since it is a free, open standard, as well as less waterproof than Lightning. And, as MacRumors notes, Apple is currently able to strictly regulate the quality of Lightning cables and accessories through its Made for iPhone (MFi) program. MFi also generates a significant amount of income for the company since third-party manufacturers have to pay Apple a considerable commission to make Lightning cables or accessories.
However, despite these advantages, I think that there’s a chance that this year’s iPhones will ditch Lightning for USB-C either. If not, I expect the transition to happen in 2022.
USB-C fast charging would be faster and, I believe, would allow an iPhone to charge from 0-50% in roughly 30 minutes. Besides, it would make consumers happier to have both the iPad and iPhone use the same sort of connector — and Apple seems to be listening to its customers more now than it has in the past. Also, Apple did switch the iPad Pro from Lightning to USB-C in 2018 and that move went well.