Saturday, 22 Sep 2018

USB-C on the iPhone XS

While the release of the iPhone X is still fresh in our mind, Apple announced the September iPhone event last week. The event, which will be held on the 12th of September 2018, or, in just a few hours, will be focussed on the launch of the new Apple iPhone, the iPhone XS.

With the introduction of the MacBook Pro a few years ago, Apple dropped most of the old connectors like USB-A ports, and adopted USB-C like no other manufacturer. However, the same fate was not happening to the iPhone. Instead of equipping the iPhone with a USB-C connector, making it an amazing companion of the new MacBooks, Apple decided to keep the lightning connector. Apple of course has a few reasons for doing so, like:

  • Lighting connectors are smaller than USB-C, which save about a millimeter on phone designs
  • Lightning is proprietary, giving Apple more control over the specification
  • A lot of docks and other peripherals are equipped with lighting connectors, giving Apple a unique competitive advantage

However, with the release of the iPhone XS, it’s rumoured that Apple will bring more of USB-C technology to the iPhone. A potentially native USB-C connector on the iPhone will most likely not happen (though rumours have it that maybe the iPad Pro switches to an USB-C connection) one of the options, though other sources mention that while a USB-C charging block will be included in the box, a USB-C to lighting cable will also be included. This means that Apple still won’t be going all in on USB-C, but instead stick to the proprietary lightning connector. However, these are great steps, and one step closer to general USB-C adoption.

Update (13-09-2018): Unfortunately, the rumours were wrong, and the iPhone XS and iPhone XR both have lightning to USB-A cables, not USB-C.