There are plenty of rumors floating around about the next iPhones. Sources both credible, and not, have speculated about whether it will have the ugliest camera bump ever, whether 3D Touch is officially dead, or whether a TouchID sensor will be built into the screen.
But in the midst of all these rumors, there's one potential update to the phone you should be excited about, despite the fact that you'll be totally annoyed at first. It looks like USB-C could be coming to the iPhone 11.
Just to be clear, I don't think it's a done deal. There are a lot of reasons that Apple might not go this route, but if it does, I think it would be the right move.
Look, no one likes change. I get it. Moving to a USB-C port on the next iPhone means that all of the previous cables are basically useless, and all of the accessories you use will now require an adapter.
I, for one, probably have a dozen or so lightning cables laying around my home. In fact, I probably still have at least three or four of the 30-pin connector cables from various earlier iPhones and iPods.
And the Lightning port has actually been really useful. It's more durable than the 30-pin adapter and it fits snug enough that you can actually pick up your iPhone by the charging cable when it falls under your seat in the car. It was also reversible, which doesn't seem like a big deal now, but was actually pretty novel at the time.
But it's time to move on. It really is.
My MacBook Pro uses USB-C. My iPad Pro uses USB-C. Right now, I also have a Google Pixel 3a that I use for testing. And like pretty much every other major smartphone on the market, it has--you guessed it--USB-C.
Here are three reasons USB-C is just better for your mobile device:
First, it supports charging beyond the 9W available over the Lightning cable, which means fast-charging. In fact, USB-C is capable of 100W, and since the only reason most people ever plug in their iPhone is to charge it, this is a real consideration.
Your iPhone already supports fast charging if you use a USB-C to Lightning cable with one of the USB-C chargers for your iPad Pro or MacBook Pro. Why not just take full advantage with the convenience of full USB-C?
Faster data transfer.
It also supports increased data transfer rates, up to 10Gbps, which matters since iOS 13 supports external file storage on your iPhone.
Sure, you can use a lightning camera adapter kit, but not at those speeds, and, besides, who wants to keep carrying around countless adapters when USB-C means you can basically just plug in whatever you want.
And if you're using your iPhone to shoot 4K video (which you probably aren't because most people don't realize it's capable, and it quickly eats up your storage), being able to quickly offload that footage to an external drive, or to your MacBook Pro or iMac would be invaluable. USB-C is also capable of carrying 4K video signals meaning you could, in theory at least, connect your iPhone to an external ultra high-definition monitor.
There's also the fact that while you can back your iPhone up to iCloud, there certainly are still people who'd prefer to have a backup on their desktop computer for peace of mind. As iPhone storage sizes increases, those faster data transfer speeds become quite handy.
An Easier Switch.
Finally, it would make it far easier to switch from most of the other popular devices made by Google and Samsung, which already use USB-C. This is good for Apple, and it's good for you. If you're currently using a Google Pixel, for example, and are considering switching, it'd be nice to be able to bring all of your existing cables and/or accessories.
Of course, this would be true in the other direction as well. If you were currently using an iPhone and wanted to switch to the newest device from another manufacturer, you'd just plug in the same power cable without having to worry about buying new ones.
Ever since Apple added USB-C to the iPad Pro, I think most people assume that the day is coming that we'll see it on the iPhone. I'm still not sure it'll happen this year, but it's most definitely time.