Plausible? Not really. Since Apple is rumored to remove the physical Home button on the iPhone 8, it makes sense that the company is coming up with a creative way to replace Touch ID and retain biometric identification. This bit falls in line with recent rumors that Apple is also considering giving the iPhone 8 facial recognition and iris scanning technology.
However, it’s very unlikely that Cupertino will push back the iPhone launch date even by a few weeks. Plus, Digitimes doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to iPhone rumors. And considering that we’ve also heard rumors of Apple starting iPhone 8 production early, our best bet is still September.
USB-C? Not so fast
The rumor: Just a few days after The Wall Street Journal revealed new information about the forthcoming iPhone 8 (full rumor below), a prominent Apple analyst is denying the intel. KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo is refuting that the 2017 iPhone will replace the Lightning port for a USB-C connector. In fact, Apple is allegedly adding fast-charging capabilities to its proprietary Lightning connector for “type C power delivery” without having to change the port and cables.
According to Kuo, Apple doesn’t have enough incentive to use USB-C. First of all, USB-C takes up more space inside the iPhone, which would change the form factor. In addition, since USB-C is universal, switching to it would remove the MFi royalties that Apple gets from licensing its property Lightning technology to third-party iOS accessory-makers.
Plausible? Highly. Switching connectors is not a decision Apple usually takes lightly, so the benefits would have to drastically outweigh the current technology. And Lightning seems to be working for the iPhone and iPad, despite the fact that they’re incompatible with even the new MacBooks. Plus, Kuo is a reliable source when it comes from reports from the Apple’s assembly line.
However, we can’t totally dismiss the WSJ report. Perhaps Apple has considered switching to USB-C. It would make its iOS products more compatible with third-party accessories and peripherals, a benefit now that the iPad Pro is being advertised as a PC replacement. The switch to USB-C would certainly be more user-friendly, but it might also counter Apple’s closed ecosystem strategy, which doesn’t seem to be a drawback for iPhone and iPad sales.
Could it be USB-C?
The rumor: Each new report about the iPhone 8’s features reinforces the ones before it, but the latest rumor from the Wall Street Journal is one we haven’t heard before. The WSJ says Apple will replace the iPhone Lightning port with a USB-C connector.
This is huge. Apple just did away with the iPhone’s headphone jack and included Lightning EarPods in the box instead of the 3.5mm earphones it has shipped with previous generations of iPhones. Now it appears that those Lightning earphones are already being phased out.
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