Apple could ditch its Lightning cable in favour of a USB-C port in a move that could make all existing iPhone accessories redundant, it has been reported.
The Lightning port has been in place since the release of the iPhone 5, but may be ditched for the new iPhone 8 models, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The USB-C port has already been incorporated into MacBooks, and is an evolution of the traditional USB.
Like the Lightning port, it is reversible so that users do not need to worry about whether it is upside down when they are plugging it in. USB-C is used to charge many of today’s high-end Android phones, so would be a move towards a universal charging cable for smartphones.
The move to the Lightning port in 2012 was the source of much contention as it meant all iPhone-compatible products, such as charging stations and speaker docks, were suddenly obsolete.
The previous 30-pin port had been in use since the iPod was introduced in 2001.
The scrapping of the Lightning port would be the company’s second controversial move in quick succession after it removed the headphone port from the iPhone 7, which was launched last September. Not only would it make accessories such as dongles, charging cases and existing cables obsolete, it would mean owners of other products such as the iPad, AirPods or Beats X headphones – all of which charge via the Lightning cable – would need two different cables.
Apple is also rumoured to be planning to adopt a flexible screen for one of its new models. It was reported last year that the company had held discussions with Samsung and LG over increasing the production of organic light-emitting diode flexible displays (OLED), which will replace the traditional glass screens.
It is now expected to incorporate the technology in time for the 2017 launch, which could see the release of three new smartphones.