Thursday, June 21, 2018

AirPower Status and Removing the Lightning Port

Mark Gurman (tweet):

Apple also wants users to be able to place any of their devices anywhere on the charging mat to begin a charge. That ambitious goal requires the company to pack the AirPower with multiple charging sensors, a process that has proven difficult, the people said.


The AirPower charger is also more advanced than the current competition because it includes a custom Apple chip running a stripped down version of the iOS mobile operating system to conduct on-device power management and pairing with devices. Apple engineers have also been working to squash bugs related to the on-board firmware, according to the people familiar.


Apple didn’t say when in 2018 it would release AirPower, but engineers hoped to launch the charger by June. The aim now is to put it on sale before or in September, according to one of the people.


During the development of the iPhone X, Apple weighed removing the wired charging system entirely.

Joe Rossignol (tweet):

Just to be absolutely clear, Gurman confirmed to me that this would have included removing the Lightning connector from the device. In fact, his report notes that Apple designers eventually hope to “remove most of the external ports and buttons on the iPhone,” although this is likely multiple years away.

A few years ago, it was reported that Apple’s design chief Jony Ive’s end goal is for the iPhone to resemble a “single sheet of glass,” while Apple has repeatedly expressed its ambitions to “create a wireless future,” so the eventual removal of the Lightning connector should perhaps come as no surprise.


Removing the Lightning connector would also prevent an iPhone from directly connecting to a wide range of peripherals, including many adapters, docks, battery cases, power banks, keyboards, game controllers, audio cables, wired headphones, and other accessories authorized under Apple’s MFi Program.

Previously: Pre-Announcing AirPower.

7 Comments RSS · Twitter

Please don't let this be true. Having no physical connector will DESTROY the professional audio market for iOS devices. It seems like all Apple cares about these days are customers who use their phones for mindless content consumption -- and any type of "professional" or "creative" use no longer matters.

Yup bandwidth of BT just isn't good enough for a wide variety of peripherals. Not just high end headphones. I'd add in that for people with existing peripherals - often expensive ones - removing all ports would be a nightmare. At least with the 30pin → lightning connector there were adaptors.

@Clark Even Lightning is a regression compared with the 30-pin connector with respect to video adapters.

i fear removing the physical connection will also be the end of syncing your phone to your computer. they'll probably require going through icloud. thus leaving you at the mercy of icloud policy, and subject to data mining, eavesdropping, etc.

i used to read apple related blogs and rumour sites and be excited about what they're up to, now i dread most of what i read. ;(

@bob They already removed the ability to backup and manage iOS apps from mainline iTunes. Killing the remainder of offline syncing is just a matter of time, Apple are hellbent on decoupling iOS from the desktop outside of development.

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