What’s coming? New iPhones. Duh. Apple will prove me correct. What else? Apple’s famous and much loved Lightning connector and cable will be replaced by the somewhat similar and soon-to-be more popular standard– USB-C.
I know what you’re thinking. “If Wil is correct then I have to buy new cables.” Maybe so, maybe not; but, well, yeah. Why would Apple make the change to USB-C? After all, not many of us complained about the switch from the old 32-pin iPod connector and cable to Lightning, right?
USB-C connectors connect to both hosts and devices, replacing various USB-B and USB-A connectors and cables with a standard meant to be future-proof.
Future proof? Uh huh. Sure. Like that will happen. USB-C works somewhat like Lightning in that the connector is reversible so plugging a cable into a device in the dark is, well, mostly easy. Lightning has only eight pins vs. 24 pins in USB-C so the latter’s future proof might be more advantageous; you know, in the future.
What other advantage does USB-C have? The connector can be compatible with Thunderbolt 3, already in use on Mac notebooks and iMac Pro. One somewhat ubiquitous standard connector with two standards– USB-C and Thunderbolt.
Thunderbolt is the brand name of a hardware interface standard developed by Intel (in collaboration with Apple) that allows the connection of external peripherals to a computer.
Thunderbolt 3 uses USB-C. What else can Thunderbolt 3 do for gadgets?
Using USB-C on copper cables, it can incorporate USB Power Delivery, allowing the ports to source or sink up to 100 watts of power.
Since Thunderbolt was co-developed by Intel and Apple it is safe to say that no gadget maker knows more about the technology than our favorite iPhone maker. So, is it safe to say Apple will replace Lightning with USB-C and Thunderbolt 3? Yes. But not yet. I predict Apple will get the entire line of connected devices on to USB-C and Thunderbolt 3, starting with the new iPad Pro models expected later this year. The newest Mac models already have USB-C and Thunderbolt 3, so expect new Mac notebooks, Mac mini, and future iMacs with a Mac Pro to have the newer technology, too.
Maybe next year.
2019 is when I expect USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 to debut in the iPhone line. Why? It takes time to ramp up production to a few hundred million units a year and Apple already has its hands full just getting Face ID into more iPhones and iPads. USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 are an awesome package that should last gadget makers and users for a few more years. Well, at least until Apple Car hits the streets.
Mark this date. Wilbur said ‘Goodbye, Lightning; Hello, USB-C and Thunderbolt 3’ is coming to Apple’s mobile gadgets.