Apple is actively working to remove the Lightning connector from future iPhone models, and in fact considered removing it from the iPhone X, according to a follow-up from MacRumors on today’s report on AirPower development. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman noted in the original report that “Apple weighed removing the wired charging system entirely” during the development of the iPhone X — which Gurman confirmed to MacRumors would have meant removing the Lightning connector entirely — but opted not to do so due to the lower speed of wireless charging and the added cost of including a wireless charging accessory in the box. That said, reports have circulated for the past few years that Apple is looking to remove most of the external ports and even buttons on the iPhone — a process that began with the controversial elimination of the headphone jack in 2017 — so it seems reasonable that as the cost and performance of wireless charging reaches an acceptable level, the Lightning port will be phased out entirely, and this also makes it seem unlikely that Apple is seriously pondering a switch to a native USB-C port. That said, the removal of the Lightning port is likely still a few years away, although with an increased focus on wireless headphones and wireless sync — compared to a few years ago, relatively few users tether their iPhone to a computer anymore — it definitely seems like something that is possible. It would also eliminate one of the most significant security vulnerabilities in the iPhone by preventing any direct connections at all — something Apple has already been working to tighten up in iOS 12.
Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.