Apple's relationship with innovation is rather unique - and mercurial. Heralded with pushing the envelope and popularising many technologies that were once considered unfeasible, the company is also known for its sluggishness in making certain industry standards available to its users.
Better late than never may be an apt expression to describe Apple's recent decision to finally join the rest of the premium smartphone industry and adopt the USB Type-C port for charging and connectivity. At least, that's what is being reported as Apple's plan for the iPhone models set to be released in 2019.
Not only is USB Type-C a far more robust option than the current Lightning connector in terms of bandwidth but it will also help alleviate the woes of owning a litany of connectors and adapters that iPhone users currently have to wrestle with. The USB 3.1 standard powering most new USB-C devices offers as much as 10 Gbps in data transfer rates and is capable of providing up to 100 W of power. The lightning connector is believed to be able to take advantage of high power delivery, but the transfer rate of the data cables bundled with iPhones is said to be around that of the USB 2.0 standard at a mere 480 Mbps.
Like the Lightning connector, USB-C ports are reversible. They also support the Thunderbolt standard, which offers an even higher rate of data transfer, though applications of the standard on a mobile device are likely limited.
The Cupertino-based smartphone giant was reported to have been considering making the move with the current crop of iPhones but apparently had to shelve the feature until next year due to time constraints.