DigiTimes Vaguely Says 2019 iPhones Are 'Likely to Support USB-C'
Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes has published a report today claiming that 2019 iPhones will come with USB-C support, but the vague wording makes it hard to decipher what they are referring to exactly.
Cage Chao and Jessie Shen, citing sources within Apple's supply chain:
Apple is redesigning chargers and related interface for its next-generation iPhone and iPad devices, and will likely have its 2019 series of iPhones come with USB Type-C support, according to sources at analog IC vendors.
The flashiest take would be that Apple is planning to remove its Lightning connector from iPhones, in favor of a more universally adopted USB-C port, but that perennial rumor has been proven incorrect time and time again.
A similarly vague report from The Wall Street Journal last year ignited speculation that the iPhone X would have a USB-C port, for example, but oft-reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo accurately said 2017 iPhones would retain Lightning connectors, with added support for fast charging via USB-C Power Delivery.
Given the unlikely possibility of a wholesale switch from Lightning to USB-C, and that the latest iPhones already support USB-C fast charging, the report could be referring to the type of power adapter included in the box.
The report adds:
Speculation circulated previously in the smartphone market that Apple would adopt Type-C interface in its next-generation iPhone series slated for launch later in 2018. Apple is still in its redesign phase and will not be able to equip the technology in its upcoming iPhones, the sources claimed.
The speculation mentioned in the report likely refers to a pair of rumors that have suggested 2018 iPhones will include an 18W USB-C charger and a Lightning to USB-C cable in the box, enabling much faster charging speeds than the tiny square-shaped 5W power adapter included with current iPhones.
In the end, this report could merely be suggesting that Apple will not bundle an 18W power adapter and Lightning to USB-C cable with iPhones until 2019, rather than this year. But, without further details, it is open to interpretation.
A transition to USB-C could make sense if Apple wants to use one standard across its MacBooks, iPhones, and iPads, but with Apple pushing towards a wireless future, it's unclear if the controversy of switching to USB-C would be worthwhile considering the Lightning connector might be removed entirely down the road.
It's worth noting that DigiTimes has a rather mixed track record at reporting on Apple's roadmap. The website claimed that Apple's AirPower charging mat would be available in March, and said a second-generation iPhone SE would launch in May or June, but neither release date proved to be accurate.
At this point, this report should be treated with some skepticism until DigiTimes provides more specific details, or the information is backed up by a more reliable source such as Kuo, who recently returned to the scene.