A new report in the Wall Street Journal signals that Apple could be making a huge change for its upcoming iPhone 8 models: ditching the Lightning port, a mainstay since the iPhone 5 released in 2012.
While much of the report focuses on the likelihood that Apple will be using a flexible OLED screen for at least one of the upcoming phones, as previously rumored, the nugget about the Lightning port might be the bigger news. According to the Journal, Apple is planning to include “a USB-C port for the power cord and other peripheral devices instead of the company’s original Lightning connector.”
In other words, Apple is apparently looking into switching out its proprietary Lightning port for a USB-C port—the same tech used on several newer Android phones, like upcoming LG G6. If the report bears out, it would be another seismic shift for Apple, which killed the headphone jack with the iPhone 7.
But while it would be a huge change for the iPhone, it’s not an unprecedented switch for Apple, which introduced the USB-C port on its MacBooks in 2015.
And USB-C has many virtues. Like the Lightning connector, it’s reversible, so you won’t ever waste time flipping a cord around just to plug in a device. It can also handle multiple processes at one time—like charge, output video and transfer data. Plus, it would mean that Apple would finally be standardizing ports across all its devices, meaning one cord could handle everything Apple you own.
But expect a lot of noise surrounding the decision. People weren’t happy with the death of the 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7, a change that forced people to rely on gadgets that work with the Lightning port—or a dongle.
Remember the grumblings that came along with Apple’s introduction of the Lightning port with the iPhone 5, bidding adieu to the larger 30-pin port? That was just five years ago. And it was just six months ago that Apple seemed to double-down on Lightning, leaving it as the only port on the phone.
Expect complaints to be even louder as the company shifts once more, forcing changes upon both accessory makers and users who will now have to sink more money into new products and dongles to replace the ones you’ve purchased and accumulated in a short amount of time.
That’s a lot of dongles and, more importantly, a lot of money.
Not that Apple is really worried about that.