Apple may replace Lightning ports in its 2019 iPhone line-up for USB-C ports, according to DigiTimes, quoting unnamed “sources at analog IC vendors.” Chances this rumor is true, according to the Sellers Research Group (that’s me): 90%.
It makes sense. Apple has already incorporated USB-C on its Mac laptop line-up and included USB-C ports on the iMac.
And Lightning is an Apple-only technology, whereas USB-C is cross-platform. And the former’s symmetrical design and ability to both power a device and transfer data from it are now duplicated by USB Type-C. Also, the popularity of USB has already lead to the demise of another Apple developed tech: FireWire.
And what of Thunderbolt? It’s in no danger. Thunderbolt 3 brings Thunderbolt to USB-C. Co-designed by Apple and Intel, Thunderbolt is made to losslessly daisy-chain up to six devices, and Thunderbolt 3 can also provide up to 10-100 watts of power to those devices.
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