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Apple’s Lightning Cable Turns 10


The iPhone 5’s charging method was innovative. Apple’s marketing chief Phil Schiller stated the company was switching to Lightning. Reversible, compact, intense lightning. Schiller dubbed it “decade-connect.”

Schiller’s connector lasted until 2022. Lightning cables link iPhones to devices and autos. As Lightning’s 10th birthday approaches, many want Apple to rethink phone charging. Lightning’s popularity has been surpassed. Lightning-friendly.

What’s New?

Lightning links. Revolutionary port. 30-pin connector, finicky Micro USB ports. The lightning port was small and easy to mess up. Competitors reported charging, syncing, and phone problems.

Lightning technology. It can charge an iPhone 50% in 30 minutes and stream 1080p video. USB 3.0 isn’t common. My phone has enough lightning. XLR and 3.5mm headphone jacks may never die. Longer, weaker lightning.

Apple’s connection isn’t universal. 2022 devices employ reversible connectors other than Lightning. Android, GoPro, and game consoles use USB-C. This connector is for Apple devices.

What’s New?

Rare Magic Mouse, Magic Keyboard, and AirPods impacted. iPad Air, iPhone, MacBook, Magic Mouse, or Windows PC, AirPods require two charges.

Sleeping? No. It’s annoying while traveling, hanging out with USB-C phone friends, or using only a laptop charger. (Personal)

iPhone 14 could lack USB-C. The lightning port may be removed soon. EU mandates USB-C. Apple could sell a USB-C phone in Europe and a Lightning phone globally, but it’s hard to imagine Lightning accessories offsetting the cost and complexity.

EU regulations may require USB-C in 2023 iPhones. Apple could sell last year’s phones until fall 2024 if it likes C. Apple may connect the iPhone 15 after 2024.

Digging Into More Details

Speculation suggests Apple could sidestep EU laws by adopting MagSafe wireless charging. This would be worse than switching to USB-C because users would have to replace equipment and cables, creating more e-waste with minimal benefits. Lightning could end.

iPhones wirelessly charge, so no plug is needed.

I wouldn’t turn off Lightning if my iPhone was my only device. My phone will probably live another decade if I charge, listen to music, and sync it daily. Many people utilise USB-C. iPhone, AirPods, trackpad, and Apple TV controller are annoying.

Apple’s lighting pushed other manufacturers to adopt a competitive, inexpensive standard. When a USB-C iPhone costs $86,000, Apple should move on.