The dream of a USB-C iPhone could be dead, according to the latest research note from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The company reportedly has no plans to adopt USB-C on future iPhone devices or integrate a Touch ID sensor into the on / off button (two technologies that exist on Apple’s iPad hardware, such as the 2020 iPad Air).
The report, obtained by AppleInsider, explains the reasoning behind Apple’s decision: “We believe that USB-C is detrimental to the profitability of the MFi business, and that its waterproof specification is lower than Lightning and MagSafe,” according to Kuo.
Therefore, instead of a USB-C iPhone, Kuo suggests that Apple can jump straight to a long-rumored homeless iPhone that relies solely on wireless charging – and specifically Apple’s MagSafe technology – to charge. MagSafe in particular would provide a neat solution to both issues that Kuo raises: by eliminating ports, MagSafe would be even more waterproof than even Lightning, and Apple still controls the MagSafe standard through its MFi program, to ensure that it will be able to continue to reap the rewards of license fees.
However, Kuo also notes that Apple does not think that MagSafe’s ecosystem has reached the point where it can be trusted as the only charging method for the iPhone. On the contrary, he predicts that Apple will continue to use its Lightning port ‘for the foreseeable future’.
Kuo’s report also casts another stubborn rumor for future iPhones: the idea that Apple could install a Touch ID sensor in the on / off button, similar to the one it offered on last year’s iPad Air refresh has. According to Kuo, there is also no time frame for Apple to add the upgrade. A previous report from Bloomberghowever, note that Apple is testing a Touch ID scanner integrated directly into the screen for this year’s iPhone series, though it remains to be seen if it makes the cut.
Kuo’s full report includes much more information about Apple’s future iPhone series, including a smaller notch and faster refresh rates for this year’s iPhones, rumors about a hole camera in 2022 and a potential eight-inch foldable iPhone that could launch early in 2023.