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iPhone 11 may finally ditch Lightning for USB-C

Published Jun 10th, 2019 4:21PM EDT
iPhone 11 Rumors
Image: Hasan Kaymak

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A report a few weeks ago claimed the iPhone 11 will ship with an 18W charger in the box, which is easily one of the most exciting iPhone 11 rumors so far. That’s the same USB-C charger that ships with the 2019 iPad Pros and which can be purchased separately from Apple’s store (both online and off).

The charger would deliver faster iPhone charging as well as improve compatibility with new MacBooks and PCs right out of the box. You won’t need to spend extra cash on a faster charger or on a USB-C to Lightning cable that would work with the newest computers. But what if the iPhone 11 also comes with USB-C ports instead of Lightning?

Apple surprised the world last fall when it switched the iPad Pro from Lightning to USB-C, just as rumors said it would. There are plenty of reasons for Apple to go down the USB-C route on the iPad Pro, including fast charging as well as immediate support for a variety of USB-C products. After all, nobody likes buying dongles.

Furthermore, iPadOS will make that USB-C port even more useful, as iPad users are getting support for expandable storage and mouse support. Moreover, with macOS 10.15’s Sidecar, you’ll be able to turn the iPad screen into a secondary Mac display, and you have both wired and wireless options to accomplish that.

There was no sign at the time that Apple would bring USB-C to the iPhone as well, but a new discovery in iOS 13 beta seems to indicate that it could happen:

A Twitter user from France observed new visuals in iOS 13 when connecting the iPhone to the Mac to perform a restore. Rather than the familiar Lightning cable and iTunes icon that would appear on the iPhone screen in previous iOS versions, we now have the image of a laptop and what appears to be a USB-C cable.

The new image might not mean anything. Apple might be using more generic visuals to convey the message that you need to connect the iPhone to a MacBook. Then again, Apple’s visuals are usually pretty specific.

The iPhone 11 series of phones are widely expected to feature the same design as their predecessors when it comes to the display, although there’s a major change when it comes to the primary camera. Each of the three new handsets is getting an extra lens on the back, according to recent leaks. The potential addition of USB-C support to iPhone would easily be another highlight for the iPhone 11 series.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.