According to Apple the future is wireless. No cables, no adaptors (heh), and none of the stuff that generally looks messy as you wrangle with your technology day to day. While everyone is fully aware that Apple ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7, a new rumour claims the company seriously considered removing the Lightning port on the iPhone X.
This news comes from Bloomberg's report surrounding the delay of the AirPower wireless charging matt, which Apple originally expected to release this month. The gist of the delays are that making a matt that can handle multiple devices at once is complicated, especially if you want to avoid the issue of excess heat. That's very informative, but what's this about ditching the charging port again?
Apple designers eventually hope to remove most of the external ports and buttons on the iPhone, including the charger, according to people familiar with the company’s work. During the development of the iPhone X, Apple weighed removing the wired charging system entirely. That wasn’t feasible at the time because wireless charging was still slower than traditional methods. Including a wireless charger with new iPhones would also significantly raise the price of the phones.
It's worth noting that it doesn't mention anything about removing the iPhone X's Lighting port entirely, just that Apple mulled over making it a mat-only charging system. But then again why have a port at all if it's not used for charging? Then you have to face the problem of replacing the other things the Lighting port does. Suddenly you stop people from being able to use the wired headphones they may have just bought, or make lighting to 3.5mm adaptors completely worthless. It also makes connecting the device to iTunes even more difficult, because iPhones still need to use iTunes if you want to do basic things like load your own music.
The other obvious flaw, which Bloomberg claims is why the plan fell through, was that wireless charging is a lot slower than wired charging. Samsung's wireless charging is considered the fastest, and that's still significantly slower than traditional methods. Not to mention the fact that wireless charging currently has a reputation for producing unwanted heat, the inability to use your phone while it charges, and the fact that you couldn't charge it up on the go.
Jony Ive may dream of an iPhone that's "a single sheet of glass", which presumably wouldn't have any ports, but right now that's not really possible. Now at the moment anyway I have to wonder how seriously Apple considered the idea, and for how long, because it's pretty fucking stupid. There's no benefit to ditching the Lightning port, so doing do would just be for show. Saying that I'd love to see it happen, if not by Apple then by someone else. Just to watch the outrage, and see the company squirm while trying to justify why it's a good idea. [Bloomberg via The Next Web]