It is now busy, Europe has finally voted for the individual charger. By 2024, all smartphones will have to switch to USB-C … or simply go without ports. According to many Apple fans, this is the direction the apple will take, not for the iPhone 14, but for the iPhone 15. For us, it does not hold.
Photo: Hasan Kaymak
Can Apple really afford to produce a portable smartphone from the iPhone 15?
Why talk about iPhone 15 and not iPhone 14? Simply because only 3 months before the release of the iPhone 14, we already know a lot about it, especially about its appearance.
If the famous notch certainly jumps this year, that’s not the case with the Lightning Gate. All the most reliable sources in the field confirm this.
Some apple lovers, including the famous Tech YouTuber Leo Duff, think that the European Parliament’s decision to impose USB-C on everyone is absurd. According to these people, in light of the great upheaval represented by the end of Lightning, Apple will simply produce an iPhone 15 … without ANY ports.
As true industry movements, it is highly likely that Apple executives will make the decision to offer the first portable mobile phone. This is without a doubt their medium / long term plan.
But do they never dare offer USB-C on an iPhone and go completely wireless next year?
For us, it would be a strategic and technological mistake. So let’s go through all the arguments for an iPhone 15 without a port. You will see, nothing holds.
- Can Apple really afford to produce a portable smartphone from the iPhone 15?
- Argument 1: “The economic model around the” Made for iPhone “standard is not so important for Apple”
- Second argument: “The public did not appreciate the switch to the lighting port on the iPhone 5, they will also complain about USB-C”
- Argument 3: “Regulators hold back innovation: Apple, Samsung and all others are blocked”
- Fourth argument: “There are 1 billion Lightning accessories in circulation, throwing them away would be an ecological disaster”
- Argument 5: “iPhone 15 will necessarily be wireless, Apple will not let go”
Argument 1: “The economic model around the” Made for iPhone “standard is not so important for Apple”
Apple is very attached to its Lightning port, it’s a real hit for the Cupertino company, which still receives $ 4 for every purchase of accessories they certify “Made for iPhone”.
But according to some people, those 4 dollars do not weigh very heavily financially for a giant like Apple. The argument is as follows:
Since Apple is already heavily dependent on USB-C for its MacBooks and even since 2018 for its iPad, this would prove that the $ 4 taxed to all third-party manufacturers who want to sell lighting is not that important to the company. ‘Company. If they were, Apple would have put Lightning everywhere ….
But the “MFI” standard actually means “Made for iPhone” and not made for iPad or Mac.
For Macs, it would also be absurd to set up a connection that is technologically inferior to USB-C on a computer that has to have high transfer speeds.
As for the iPad, its sales figures are ridiculous next to the iPhones. We are talking about 50 million iPads sold per year against almost 250 million iPhones. The amounts involved are incomparable, especially as it is much easier to buy new accessories for a phone than for a tablet (eg an external battery).
And then, when Apple switches to USB-C for its iPad Pro, it follows some pressure from consumers (professionals always need fast transfers), but also from lawmakers who were already agitated there as a 4-year-old.
Apple has long been preparing for it to crack someday, which is why they are killing themselves to seek improvements to wireless chargers, even after the AirPower failure.
Second argument: “The public did not appreciate the switch to the lighting port on the iPhone 5, they will also complain about USB-C”
This argument is based on a rather flawed prediction. The situation has changed enormously in 10 years. Today, it seems pretty obvious that the general public is pushing more to switch to USB-C than to keep the lighting.
At the time, leaf change was legion. If consumers stepped in, it was precisely because there was too much variation in the market, not standardization.
Remember: we could not even ask “who has an iPhone charger” in the evening because we had to answer “The old or the new?”. Tomorrow it’s enough to ask “who has a charger” for short.
Audiences may be used to Lightning, but they are also used to USB-C. All you need is a Mac, an iPad, a Nintendo Switch, a battery-powered controller, a member of the household with an Android smartphone, an e-reader, a wireless speaker … in short, almost all newer technological objects portable for to have USB-C at home.
Let’s be honest, everyone has USB-C at home, at least as much as Lightning ports.
If you think public opinion may have weight in Apple’s decision, ask yourself what they would think about producing a portable smartphone.
Argument 3: “Regulators hold back innovation: Apple, Samsung and all others are blocked”
The issue of the universal charger has been around for a very long time. So long that USB-C did not even exist when it was first discussed. If the EU had won this era, the very mediocre Micro-USB port would have become the only charger.
That’s definitely true. But can we say with certainty that the Micro-USB port would have been the only one, everywhere, for 15 years? That the law would not have evolved to make room for its replacement once it was found?
The technology world is moving fast, and lawmakers are trying to keep up. They are not resistant to change in themselves: their goal is not to restrict freedom, but to protect, as best as possible, as many people as possible.
That is what we e.g. observes with autonomous cars, which are heavily regulated in Europe. Here, a Tesla has fewer options in its Autopilot than in the United States. But it protects us from technologies that are not quite ready. Do not panic, the law will be updated as soon as the innovations have proven their relevance, it has already been seen.
The decisions made by the government are not set in stone.
Fourth argument: “There are 1 billion Lightning accessories in circulation, throwing them away would be an ecological disaster”
Again, this argument does not hold water. Personally, I love Apple, but to claim the above phrase is closer to blind fanaticism than the actual reality.
People are not asked to throw away or mass repurchase new products overnight. Either way, when changing phone, Lightning or not, there will be a cable in the box.
Lighting cables wear quickly and lead to acquisitions. Lightning accessories have, at best, an expected lifespan equivalent to the included iPhone. There will not be a big wave of waste in connection with the end of the Lightning in 2024, it is nonsense.
Unused chargers represent 11 million tons of waste per year.
Thanks to standardization, in the long run there are millions of tonnes less waste, both at the manufacturer level (which will produce fewer accessories) and consumers (who will reuse the same cable for many items).
If there is one thing that would make people buy new accessories in droves and therefore be harmful to the planet, it would be to produce an iPhone without any ports. If this happens, all iPhone owners, in addition to the USB-C cables they certainly already have at home, will need to purchase wireless chargers.
Argument 5: “iPhone 15 will necessarily be wireless, Apple will not let go”
Now that we’ve shown the relevance of the switch to USB-C, it’s time to take on the bigger piece. For us, the iPhone 15 will not be wireless. At least it does not have to be.
We said it before, ecologically it would be a disaster forcing all consumers to buy new accessories.
Inductive charging, even with the small magnets in Apple’s MagSafe chargers, still results in a energy loss. A loss that the cable charging does not have. Here again a bad green dot is added.
Finally, and this is the most important point, wireless technology is not ready, neither for charging nor data transfer.
I even have an iPhone and I am familiar with MagSafe.
- This technology, which hassle as soon as there is a hull on an iPhone (or which leaves a large trail by heating the plastic).
- This technology, which causes my battery to heat up so usemuch more than wired charging.
- This technology, which makes handling difficult of my charged iPhone.
- This technology, which due to its magnet is not no more practical only one cord as it requires my two hands to unplug my machine.
For data transfer, the situation is even worse. Today, the iPhone takes 8K video, and we all take tons of high-resolution snaps almost every day.
Apple itself wants to turn their iPhone into a camera and a camera that can be used by professionals, all their communication goes in this direction.
I personally know people who work with an iPhone like another pro camera. Although I’m the first fan of photo sharing in AirDrop, we do not upload tens of thousands of gigabytes of files this way.
iPad Pro goes for USB-C because USB-C is best for professionals. Following Apple’s own admission. The iPhone Pro must at least line up.
Apple always waits for a technology to be fully ready before bringing it to its iPhones. No face recognition without the accuracy of Face ID. Closer to our topic, no Jack port removal without Bluetooth 4 and a product as well thought out as AirPods.
Until wireless is completely clear, it seems technologically absurd for Apple to produce a portable phone.
IOS 16 shows that the ecosystem that was said to be “too closed” is opening up. Ever-increasing customization, many APIs for developers, likely arrival of USB-C … The iPhone is getting closer to an Android smartphone.
Although I love Apple, at these points, it’s still good to see changes, even forced.