Now registered, Europe has voted definitively for the only charger. In 2024, all smartphones should switch to USB-C…or simply work without ports. According to many Apple fans, this is the direction Apple will take, not for the iPhone 14, but for the iPhone 15. For us, it’s not true.
Photo: Hassan Kaymak
Can Apple really make a portless smartphone out of the iPhone 15?
Why are we talking about the iPhone 15 and not the iPhone 14? Quite simply because only 3 months before the release of the iPhone 14, we already know a lot about it, especially in terms of its appearance.
If the famous notch is definitely going to jump this year, that’s not the case with the Lightning port. All reliable sources in this field confirm this.
Some apple fans, including popular Tech YouTuber Leo Duff, think the European Parliament’s decision to force USB-C for everyone is absurd. According to these folks, in the face of the huge turmoil represented by the end of Lightning, Apple will simply produce the iPhone 15…without any ports.
As true drivers of the industry, it is very likely that Apple executives will make the decision to introduce the first portless mobile phone. This is undoubtedly their medium/long term plan.
But will they dare to introduce USB-C on the iPhone and go completely wireless next year?
For us, this would be a strategic and technological mistake. So let’s go through all the arguments for the iPhone 15 without a port. You’ll see, nothing holds.
- Can Apple really make a portless smartphone out of the iPhone 15?
- Argument 1: “The economic model around the ‘Made for iPhone’ standard isn’t that important to Apple.”
- The second argument: “The public did not appreciate the switch to the lightning port on the iPhone 5, they would also complain about USB-C”
- The third argument: “Regulators are holding back innovation: Apple, Samsung and all others are blocked.”
- Fourth Argument: “There are a billion pieces of lightning accessories in circulation, and throwing them away would be an environmental disaster.”
- Fifth Argument: “The iPhone 15 will necessarily be wireless, and Apple will not let it go”
Argument 1: “The economic model around the ‘Made for iPhone’ standard isn’t that important to Apple.”
Apple is so tied to its Lightning port, it’s a real blow to the Cupertino company that still receives $4 for every purchase of accessories it certifies as “Made for iPhone.”
But, according to some people, those four dollars don’t weigh much in economic terms for a giant like Apple. The argument is as follows:
Puisqu’Apple mise déjà énormément sur l’USB-C pour ses MacBook et même, depuis 2018, pour son iPad, cela prouverait bien que les 4 dollars taxés à tous les constructors tiers qui veulent vendre du l Lighting si ne important sont pas pour ‘a company. If so, Apple would have put Lightning everywhere….
However, the “MFI” standard actually means “Made for iPhone” and not Made for iPad or Mac.
For Macs, it would also be silly to set up a technologically inferior USB-C connection on a PC that should have high transfer speeds.
As for the iPad, its sales numbers are ridiculous compared to those of the iPhone. We’re talking about 50 million iPads being sold annually for roughly 250 million iPhones. The amounts included are unbeatable, especially since it’s much easier to buy new accessories for a phone than it is for a tablet (external battery for example).
And then, when Apple switches to USB-C for its iPad Pro, it follows a certain pressure from consumers (pros always need quick transfers), but also from lawmakers, who were already worried there at 4 years old.
Apple has been preparing for a long time to break it one day or another, which is why they are killing themselves looking for improvements to wireless chargers, even after the failure of AirPower.
The second argument: “The public did not appreciate the switch to the lightning port on the iPhone 5, they would also complain about USB-C”
This argument is based on a somewhat flawed prediction. The situation has changed dramatically in 10 years. Today, it seems very clear that the general public is paying more to switch to USB-C than to keep it light.
At that time, magazine changes were plentiful. If consumers climb to the plate, it’s precisely because there is a lot of variety on the market, not standardization.
Remember: We couldn’t even ask “Who has the iPhone charger” in the evening because we would have answered “Old or new?” Tomorrow it is enough to ask “who has a charger” in short.
The masses may be used to Lightning, but they are also familiar with USB-C. All you need is a Mac, an iPad, a Nintendo Switch, a battery-powered console, a family member with an Android smartphone, an e-reader, a wireless speaker…in short, anything tech-modern-computer Portable with a USB-C port at home.
Let’s be honest, everyone has USB-C at home, at least as much as the Lightning ports.
If you think that the opinion of the general public may have weight in Apple’s decision, ask yourself what they would think about producing a smartphone without a port.
The third argument: “Regulators are holding back innovation: Apple, Samsung and all others are blocked.”
The issue of the universal charger has been around for a very long time. As long as USB-C didn’t even exist when it was first discussed. If the European Union had won this era, the very modest Micro-USB port would have been the only charger.
This is certainly true. But can we say for sure that the Micro-USB port was going to be the only one everywhere for 15 years? That the law would not have evolved to make room for its replacement once it was found?
The tech world is moving fast, and lawmakers are trying to keep up. They do not resist change per se: their goal is not to limit freedom, but to protect as many people as possible.
This is what we observe for example in self-driving cars, which are highly regulated in Europe. At home, Tesla has fewer options on autopilot than the US does. But it protects us from completely unprepared technologies. Don’t panic, the law is updated as soon as innovations prove their importance, they have already been seen.
Decisions made by the government are not set in stone.
Fourth Argument: “There are a billion pieces of lightning accessories in circulation, and throwing them away would be an environmental disaster.”
Again, this argument does not hold. Personally, I love Apple, but the emphasis on the sentence above is closer to bigotry than to realism.
People are not required to throw away new products or buy them back in bulk overnight. Anyway, when they change the phone, Lightning or not, there will be a cable in the box.
Lighting cables wear out quickly and lead to stock buying. Lightning accessories have a life expectancy at best similar to that of the iPhone that came with them. There won’t be a big wave of waste related to the end of lightning in 2024, that’s nonsense.
Unused chargers represent 11 million tons of waste annually.
Thanks to standardization, in the long run, there is millions of tons of less waste, both at the level of manufacturers (who will produce fewer accessories) and consumers (who will reuse the same cable for many things).
If there was one thing that would cause people to buy new accessories in droves and thus be detrimental to the planet, it would be iPhone production without any outlets. If this happens, all iPhone owners, in addition to the USB-C cables they already have at home, will have to purchase wireless chargers.
Fifth Argument: “The iPhone 15 will necessarily be wireless, and Apple will not let it go”
Now that we’ve shown the importance of switching to USB-C, it’s time to tackle the bulk. For us, the iPhone 15 will not be wireless. At least it doesn’t have to be.
We said earlier that, from an environmental point of view, it would be a disaster, forcing all consumers to buy new accessories.
Inductive charging, even with the tiny magnets in Apple’s MagSafe chargers, still results in energy loss. There is no loss in wired charging. Here again, a bad green dot has been added.
Finally, and this is the most important point, wireless technology is not ready, neither for charging nor for data transmission.
I have an iPhone myself, and I’m familiar with MagSafe.
- This technology that Trouble once there is a hull on your iPhone (or leave a dent by heating up the plastic).
- This technology that It makes my battery heat up, so the useMuch more than wired charging.
- This technology that Makes it difficult to handle From charging my iPhone.
- This technology which, due to its magnetism, is not Not more practical Wire only because it requires my hand to disconnect my device.
As for data transmission, the situation is even worse. Today, iPhones capture 8K video and we all take a lot of high-resolution shots almost every day.
Apple itself wants to make its iPhone a camera and camcorder usable by professionals, and everything about them goes in that direction.
I personally know people who work with the iPhone as a second professional camera. Even if you’re a die-hard fan of AirDrop photo sharing, we don’t transfer files up to tens of gigabytes this way.
The iPad Pro is powered by a USB-C port because USB-C is best for professionals. By Apple’s own admission. The iPhone Pro, at least, should line up.
Apple always waits for technology to be completely ready before introducing it to its iPhones. It is not possible to recognize a face without the accuracy of Face ID. Closer to our topic, there is no removal of the Jack port without Bluetooth 4 and a well-thought-out product like AirPods.
Until the wireless connection is completely ready, it seems technologically ridiculous for Apple to produce a phone without a port.
IOS 16 shows that an ecosystem that was said to be “too closed” is opening up. The ever-increasing customization, the many APIs for developers, the potential access to USB-C … the iPhone is getting closer to the Android smartphone.
Even if I like Apple, at these points it’s still nice to see change, even forced.
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