In the future, we won't ever use any cables. None. Zilch.
All connections between your phone and anything else in the world will use a wireless connection, and all of the devices we use every day--the keyboards, a mouse, headphones, activity trackers, and more--will all connect using wireless.
That's not really true today. In fact, most devices we use, including activity trackers, tend to use a USB connection, which means if you own multiple gadgets, you probably have multiple charging cables lying around. And, for the audio purists who still prefer a wired connection for headphones or earbuds, it means you are surrounded by cables.
Recently, an analyst named Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that the next high-end iPhone, to be released in 2021, will not provide a Lightning port (which is what many of us still use for charging). While modern iPhone models like the Apple iPhone 11 Pro can charge wirelessly, there's still a backup port for charging and syncing data.
Wired charging is a pain, in my opinion. I'm not exactly the typical user in that I tend to test out multiple gadgets every week, but I'm looking forward to the day when every cable and connector disappears from the devices we use. And from the world around us.
This will require a shift in the industry. Today, every airport is littered with outlets and USB charging ports. Many cars now offer a USB-C charging port in addition to the older USB port, although some models, like the Toyota Camry, offer a wireless charging pad as well.
There will be a shift in audio devices as well. I still see the traditional wired earbuds at airports and at coffee shops, as though that is still the preferred connection. However, I tested out the Apple AirPods Pro recently and the quality was outstanding. I called it the best Apple product in years. I'm not sure why the holdouts still insist wired devices are always better. It's possible they haven't tested the new AirPods. (I will admit the fidelity on a high-end pair of reference headphones will beat any wireless device.)
In 2021, if the iPhone doesn't have any ports, we'll see a shift in how this all plays out. More cars will add a charging port. Airports will remove the USB ports and start adding more wireless pads. At home and in the office, desks will come with built-in pads, and we'll drop our phones onto charging pads that are built in to the conference room table. Restaurants will add them, and we'll start seeing them more often at libraries and coffee shops.
The best news of all? Cable clutter will become a distant memory. I'm already living in that reality for the most part, although my laptop still charges using a USB-C cable. For me, the gadgets I like best and the phone I use all charge over wireless and I use wireless earbuds instead of the wired models that are still so common.
It's a shift in thinking as well. As more and more users embrace wireless connections and audio devices, the world around us will change and, someday soon--maybe by 2022--we will finally say goodbye to most of the USB ports you see around everywhere.