Okay everyone, I have a confession to make. As much as I hate 99.9% of what Apple does, I love their charging methods. Or at least, I loved their charging methods. Let me explain.
Ever since its inception in Asian rice cookers, MagSafe has just made sense. So many thousand-dollar laptops break each year just because their charging port gets yanked by the charging cable, and Apple did an amazing job at solving this problem. MagSafe was reversible, it had enough force to stay in when you wanted it to, and it demagnetized easily.
Lightning is also great. My brother has a hand-me-down iPhone 5, and his Lightning cable still has a satisfying click when he puts it into is phone to charge. Lightning is also reversible, like MagSafe, for less fumbling, and the cable doesn’t have a hole on the inside like MicroUSB does. This makes it much less likely to squash in and leave your cable broken forever.
In addition, since Apple requires an MFi (made for iPhone, iPod, and iPad) certification on all Lightning cables, if you see the MFi logo on your cable, you can be certain it is guaranteed by Apple to work. The only downside to this, however, is that the Apple charges a lot for each certification.
Let’s say you’re a cable company (nice one, Zachary). You make your MFi certified cables (not your set-top boxes) and sell them to CVS. The only problem, however, is that your cables cost $4 more each to manufacture than the MicroUSB cables sitting next to them. This MFi certification per cable price is very expensive, and that extra $4 transfers into the retail price. When I was in CVS the other day, the Lightning cables were $5 more than their MicroUSB counterparts.
Overall, however, this certification is worth it. Knockoff cables aren’t guaranteed to charge your devices or even work at all, so seeing the certification before you buy your next cable is a reassuring feeling. First party cables also break all the time, so it’s nice to know you can buy a replacement cable and still be supported under warranty by Apple.
And now, the reason you clicked on this article. I don’t think Apple will get rid of Lightning on the next iPhone for multiple reasons. First, USB-C simply has a larger connector than Lightning. With Apple going for thinner and thinner phones, the switch to USB-C would be a huge backwards step in terms of size.
Second, there is a hole in the middle of the USB-C connector, whereas Lightning is stronger because it doesn’t have this hole. Strength is an important part of cables, and in the case of Lightning, Apple has made both their devices and their cables more durable by using a system without the pin-hole method, like we see on so many other cables.
Third, there is no official certification for USB-C cables, only “recommended specifications.” Sure, Apple could go out and spend a boatload on R&D, but why do that when they already have a perfectly working cable?
Lastly, USB-C doesn’t make sense on an iPhone, just like Lightning didn’t make sense on a Macbook Pro. And while I, like many others, like to make fun of Apple by pointing out that it’s easier to charge a Google Pixel with a Macbook Pro than an iPhone, it’s safe to say that consumers would have been much more disappointed if Apple had announced a computer with nothing but Lightning ports and a headphone jack.
In the iPhone’s case, USB-C just somehow feels like an Android and PC thing. Apple has a perfect charging and data transfer method already, so I see no reason for them to switch. Because Lightning is so durable and small already, a switch to USB-C just doesn’t make sense, which is why I can confidently say the iPhone 8 will still have a Lightning connector.
What do you think? I’m especially interested to hear your opinions on this topic, so please post your comments down below. I look forward to learning about what you have to say!