Karhin’s Blog
About technologies and life

There's no secret that over the past year, Apple has considered removing the Lightning port from iPhones and accessories. Before the presentation, there were many discussions among Apple's sectarians.

Should the European Union influence major Silicon Valley companies at all? Was Lightning the best connector in the world? Is Type-C evil? And many other strange questions.

Most of the arguments in favor of a proprietary connector are sheer sectarianism. I want to break down a bit why Lightning should have disappeared a long time ago.

Peripherals

Let's start with the fact that Lightning was a good form factor for its time. At that time, there was no Type-C specification, but there was an awful Micro USB, which can still sometimes be found in devices because it's cheap. Besides being one-sided, it constantly broke.

Now almost all technology is released with a Type-C connector. One cable is enough to charge a computer, connect a monitor Thunderbolt cord is needed, PlayStation or Xbox controller, headphones (except those from Apple, of course), iPad, or camera.

Currently, only the iPhone, AirPods, keyboard, and mouse require their proprietary wire.

It also works the other way around. You can't just connect an SSD to an iPhone to transfer a 30-minute 4K video. You can't directly connect a camera to transfer video from it to your phone. You can't connect your phone to a TV if it doesn't support AirPlay or if the wireless network quality is poor.

Almost any case of connecting something to an iPhone ends with it being impossible to do so. Meanwhile, I've been able to do all this with my iPad for a couple of years.

Type-C Is Unreliable and Some Different Cords

I'll just remind you that Type-C is just a form factor for USB, which can support different specifications. It might not even transfer data, just provide power to the device.

Lightning is the same. But the joke is that it only supports the outdated and slow USB 2.0. And there are also Lightning cords from China that can only charge the phone.

Myths about Type-C being unreliable compared to Lighting are mostly nonsense. The pins in Lighting can break just as easily, and the connector itself oxidizes over time. If it's somewhat more reliable, it doesn't outweigh all the benefits of a universal connector.

To cover 99% of the use cases of any Type-C connector, buy quality cords. A good cable isn't cheap, and the price starts at $40. A good cable usually has a lightning icon, indicating that the cord supports Thunderbolt. Such cords can even be used to connect monitors.

The only reason why Lighting hasn't disappeared yet is money. Apple made money on this connector; manufacturers must pay Apple to do something with this connector.

Just a reminder of the glorious times when phones didn't have a 3.5mm jack and headphones from various manufacturers were tightly tied to the device because of a custom connector. Sounds cool? Apple still sells headphones with Lightning when all other wired headphones are with Type-C. Just like 20 years ago.

UPD: I wrote this post before the presentation and unexpectedly guessed all the points that were made. Now they will be selling EarPods with a Type-C connector. Are you still against EU regulation?

Apple iPhone USB Lightning Thunderbolt

I completely disagree

I’m not surprised, apple boy.

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