Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Why Does the iPhone Still Use Lightning?

John Gruber:

The sub-head on Gartenberg’s piece is “The iPhone doesn’t have USB-C for a reason”. Putting that in the singular does not justice to the complexity of such decisions. There are numerous reasons that the iPhones 13 still use Lightning — and there are numerous reasons why switching to USB-C would make sense. The pro-USB-C crowd, to me, often comes across as idealogical. I’m not accusing Gartenberg of this — though it is his piece with the sub-head claiming there’s “a” singular reason — but many iPhones-should-definitely-use-USB-C proponents argue as though there are no good reasons for the iPhone to continue using Lightning. That’s nonsense.

I thought this was a fair look at reasons why the iPhone continues to have a Lightning connector and, adjacently, how the E.U.’s mandated USB-C proposal fails to consider more nuanced arguments.

I think this also helps explain why Apple’s “Magic” accessories — keyboard, mouse, and trackpad — and the Siri Remote continue to use Lightning. Lots of people have lots of Lightning cables laying around. But accessories are designed to last for years and it does not seem as interruptive to switch those over to USB-C as it would be for iPhones.