Is Apple Getting Rid of the Lightning Cable?

The Apple Lightning Connector Patent Photo - Patently Apple

Many iPhone and iPad owners have been worried lately by claims that Apple may be abandoning the Lightning connector and replacing it with a new standard. Is there any truth to these rumors? Let's take a look at the evidence.

What is the Lightning Cable?

Introduced in 2012 to coincide with the release of the iPhone 5, the Apple Lightning connector is a port that is used to charge the phone or connect it to a computer so you can transfer media to and from the device. The Lightning connector has appeared on every generation of iPhone since the iPhone 5, as well as on the iPad, the updated iPod Touch, and the iPod Nano. Every one of these Apple devices ships with a Lightning cable to allow users to charge their devices and load them with media.

Benefits of the Lightning Cable

The Lightning cable has many advantages over the 30-pin connector that it replaced. It is reversible, so you don't have to waste time figuring out the correct orientation before you insert it into your device's Lightning port. It's also thinner and more durable than the cables that it replaced and allows for faster transfer of data.

Future of the Lightning Cable

As the Lightning cable has now been around for almost four years, some consumers are wondering whether it is time for an update. However, the evidence suggests that Apple has no intention of getting rid of the Lightning cable any time soon. In fact, the technology giant has recently found new ways to use the Lightning ports on its latest generation of devices. A recent report suggests that Apple is planning to remove the standard 3.5mm headphone jack from its next phone - provisionally labeled the iPhone 7 - in favor of having the headphones connect via the Lightning connector. Media reports suggest that each new phone will ship with a set of Lightning-connected earphones, indicating that Apple is keen to encourage customers to use the Lightning port for audio, as well as for charging and media transfer. The removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack enables Apple to make the new iPhone thinner than its predecessors.

Conclusion

All the evidence suggests that Apple is not planning to get rid of the Lightning cable. In contrast, the port is gaining new applications, including audio output. If you own a Lightning cable, then it's a good idea to keep hold of it, as it's likely to be compatible with Apple devices for many years to come.