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Err… What!? Apple May Incorporate USB Type-C Inside iPhone 8

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Apple’s iPhone 8 will debut later on this year alongside two familiar looking iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus handsets. Apparently.

All we have to go on at present is rumours. But this seems to be the general consensus amongst market watchers and tech pundits.

But one recent rumour is really intriguing, because it suggests that Apple will adopt USB Type-C in 2017 aboard its iPhone 8.

… And, in other news, a light frost has been reported in Hell.

But stick with me here because this isn’t just some bunk rumour propagated by an obscure blog looking for page-views. No, this rumours comes direct from the Wall Street Journal.

And when the Wall Street Journal says something, people – including myself – tend to listen.

So what’s the story? Simple, really: Apple might replace its proprietary, Lightning port with the more common USB Type-C port. And the reason? Again, simple: it would mean one cord to charge the iPhone and one cord to charge a MacBook.

Apple uses USB Type-C on its MacBooks. USB Type-C is also getting more popular, in the Android space and on laptops and hybrids, and the benefits of USB Type-C are myriad, so the idea that Apple could switch certainly makes sense.

The more likely scenario, however, and the one I think is most likely to happen because, let’s face it, this is Apple we’re talking about here, is that USB Type-C will be incorporated inside the iPhone 8, but only as a means for faster charging. The actual charging port itself will remain Lightning and, therefore, proprietary. 

Still, this does bring with it some neat benefits in the long term. 

Obviously, a true USB Type-C connector would be better. But this in all likelihood will never happen. 

Benefits of USB Type-C

There are many advantages to USB Type C, besides it being a universal standard for phones, laptops, peripherals and tablets, although the main advantages are as follows:

  • Size – USB Type-C is half the width and one-third the height of a traditional USB.
  • Reversible – USB Type-C works whatever orientation you stick it in (that’s what she said), making it easier to place your phone on charge in the dark.
  • Speed – USB Type-C is super-fast, not only for charging, but also for data transferral. The latest version can push 10 gigabits per second.
  • Power – USB Type-C can provide up to 100W of power, which is easily enough to power a laptop and tablet.

“The fact that Apple has embraced Type-C on MacBooks but continued to use Lighting cables on iPhones has manifested in some real awkwardness,” notes Popular Mechanics.

It added: “For example, the headphones that come with the iPhone 7 (which have a Lightning connection because the 7 did away with the headphone jack) don’t plug into a new Macbook Pro. Plus, today’s iPhone users carry around a Lightning cable that’s good for charging their phone, but nothing else, whereas a Type-C cable is a multi-tasker.”

If iPhones adopted USB Type-C it would make life a lot easier for a lot of people, as you could use one cord to charge your iPhone, your MacBook, your Windows PC, your Android phone – wherever.

I have no idea about the validity of these claims, but I hope it is something Apple is considering. USB Type-C is a great, universal charging system. Proprietary approaches are ALWAYS restrictive and lead to user frustration.

Adopting USB Type-C on iPhone makes a lot of sense. But as we all know: Apple’s approach doesn’t always champion common sense (hello, no headphone jack on the iPhone 7).

File this one under: very interesting, indeed.

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