Apple's dream of an iPhone could be a nightmare

Apple’s dream of an iPhone could be a nightmare

This story is part Focal point iPhone 2022a collection of CNET news, tips, and advice on Apple’s most popular product.

iPhone 14 smartphones take Apple’s quest for a portless phone a step further by making the new models sleeker and more durable, getting rid of the SIM card slot and relying on eSIM chips.

Gone is another mechanical vulnerability to dust and water following Apple’s decision to drop the 3.5mm headphone jack starting in 2016. reset physical home button starting from 2017. Extrapolating into the future, you can expect Apple to get rid of the charging and data port next time, ushering in the portless iPhone era.

I really hope not.

I’m in favor of progress, but I think it’s best if we keep some of those copper cables in our lives – even if it goes against the idea of ​​a smooth and seamless gadget that Apple is aiming for and now becoming possible like CNET – notes the senior editor. Lisa Edichiko.

Sleek sounds great, but listen to me. The iPhone without ports has three big problems: the inconvenience of charging, slow data transfer, and the rejection of wired headphones. Here’s a look at the situation.

Disadvantages of Wireless Charging for iPhone

The first big problem with an iPhone without ports is that it will be harder to charge.

You may well have chargers in the kitchen, in the office, in the car, and maybe even on your bedside table. However, you need to charge your phone elsewhere: at the airport, in a rental car, at your friend’s house, in a college lecture hall, at a conference. Carrying the necessary charger and “wireless” charging cable with you is even worse than carrying around a conventional wired charger.

Sure, some places have them built in now, including coffee shops and airports, but you don’t want to roll the dice based on availability. The odds are good you will lose.

Wireless chargers are also more expensive, often bulkier, and can be finicky with phone placement, even with Apple’s MagSafe technology to better align your phone. Several times I woke up in the morning or drove for hours and found that the wireless charging was not working.

Wired charging is also faster, uses less power, and doesn’t overheat my phone.

If Apple ever ditched its now archaic Lightning port and uses the iPhone’s USB-C port as I expect, its charging and data port will become more useful. I already use USB-C to charge my MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, Framework laptop, Sony noise canceling headphones, Pixel 6 Pro phone, Pixel Buds Pro headphone case, game console and Nintendo Switch controllers. I always have a USB-C charger with me when I travel, and I expect USB-C ports to become more common in airports, airplanes, hotels, cars, and cafes. Don’t hold your breath over a wireless charger crammed into an economy seat.

“There’s no question that USB-C is long overdue for the iPhone, especially given that it’s on the iPad and Mac,” said Carolina Milanesi, Creative Strategies analyst. “It’s not always possible to use wireless or MagSafe.”

iPhone data transfer speed

The convenience of wireless data transfer makes it the norm for phones. Gone are the days when we needed to connect phones to laptops to sync and back up data.

But if you’re one of the creative types that Apple shows off at every iPhone launch event by shooting 4K video for your indie movie, you’ll appreciate wired data transfer to get that video to your laptop faster. This is especially true if you’re shooting Apple ProRes video.


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A 1-minute ProRes clip I shot recently is 210MB; imagine how quickly you can handle gigabytes if you shoot more seriously. Wired connections can also be handy for transferring large amounts of photos using a tool such as Apple’s Image Capture utility or Adobe Lightroom photo editing and cataloging software.

Wired headphones if you can’t afford AirPods

I know, I know, AirPods or any other wireless headphones are a booming business these days. But wired headphones remain useful. For some, they are even a retro fashion statement.

I like them because they don’t drain the battery or suffer from Bluetooth instability. And they’re much harder to lose or drop into a ditch while you’re running to catch the bus.

Wired headphones are much cheaper. You might be able to afford second-generation AirPods Pro for $249, but not everyone can. The 3.5mm audio jack is being squeezed out of smartphones, but iPhones with USB-C ports will mean you can likely buy a cheap set of headphones from an airport travel store if you forget your AirPods.

Close-up of the Lightning port for the iPhone 13 Pro.

I’d rather have a USB-C port than this Apple Lightning port on my iPhone, but I’d rather have either one than no port at all.

Stephen Shankand/CNET

Perhaps there is room for compromise – one iPhone for those who only use wireless, and another model for people like me. But Apple doesn’t like to force consumers with confusing choices, so I’d be surprised.

iPhone case without ports

There are, of course, some significant benefits that we would get from an iPhone without a port.

It will bring a new level of smoothness and reduce the amount of cable fuss in your life. iPhone cases will be more durable and impervious to water and dust. Apple will get some extra interior space that can be filled with a larger battery or other electronics.

“An iPhone without ports is likely more rigid and gives more room for the Taptic Engine, speakers, or possibly an antenna,” said Anshel Sag, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.

Apple, which doesn’t usually discuss its future plans, has not commented on the story.

Advances in wireless charging and data transfer technologies make portless iPhone possible. Other achievements are likely: improved Wi-Fi. Wireless charging works anywhere in the room, not just on the charging stand. Potential use of ultra-wideband positioning technology for fast data transmission over short distances.

I already like modern wireless technologies that would make an iPhone possible without a port. I just think the disadvantages of relying solely on them outweigh the benefits.

A better future is one that this charging and data port will keep. So, Apple, please don’t give it up. And while your engineers are on the subject, what about USB-C?

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