Apple has never been one to follow tradition. When laptops had VGA and HDMI ports, Macbooks had Displayport. When phones all adopted the microUSB standard at the behest of the EU, Apple stuck with its own proprietary connection. Even in the olden days before USB was adopted en masse, Macs used different connections to regular old PCs. So when rumours claim Apple will be ditching it's homemade Lighting connection for USB-C, it's not unreasonable to be incredibly sceptical.
DigiTimes is claiming that Apple will be swapping the proprietary connection, first introduced in 2012, with USB-C next year. That's the same connection used on Macbooks as well as other high-end smartphones and laptops. The site's sources noted that Apple's adoption of USB-C in Macbooks has led to a ripple effect among the rest of the laptop industry, though progress has been slow due to the general slowdown experienced by the sector. It's implied that this is why Apple would consider adopting the connection on its iPhones.
Here's where it gets even less likely though. The site claims Apple adding USB-C to iPhones will spur other companies into adopting it for themselves, which makes zero sense. Other companies have been doing a pretty good job of that independently of whatever Apple is doing. Samsung, Huawei, Google, OnePlus, LG, Lenovo, and others have all released multiple products with USB-C connections.
Apple launching an iPhone with USB-C would be great, since it means people wouldn't have to go to Apple to get accessories, but then again it's going to leave a bunch of previous iPhone owners in the dark - especially anyone who purchased a pair of lightning headphones to make up for the iPhone's missing headphone jack. Maybe someday iPhones and iPads will have the same connection as other device, but I doubt it'll be happening anytime soon. If Lighting is going to die, then it's more likely Apple has something new of its own to fall back on. [DigiTimes via Ubergizmo]