Although Apple has embraced USB-C in Macs and iPads, it still clings to its proprietary Lightning technology on the iPhone. If the never-ending rumors finally come to pass, Apple’s smartphone might skip USB-C altogether. Year after year have seen talk about an iPhone without any port whatsoever but, according to one Apple news site, Apple is laying the foundations for addressing the most critical problem that a portless design would have.
Apple has slowly been doing away with the need for ports and cables on its iPhones, embracing wireless technologies instead where possible. It has done so for audio and has embraced wireless charging with the new MagSafe technology. Data transfer is more or less also covered by its AirPlay and related features.
The one last thing that Apple still needs to address is how restoring an iPhone still requires connecting a Mac or PC with a cable. According to Appleosophy, that is the puzzle that the company has given both software and hardware engineers to solve. Software developers are looking into multiple possible methods for this “Internet Recovery”, which can wirelessly do the process, with or without a nearby computer.
The more interesting challenge, however, is how this could be performed without at least a Lightning port. One option presented was to use pogo pads hidden inside the SIM card slot, almost mirroring the Apple Watch and Apple TV. Apple’s requirement, however, excludes any option of hiding such a port behind flaps and doors.
The site does warn that these solutions are still in their early phases and aren’t yet up to Apple’s meticulous standards. Whether they will be finished in time for the iPhone 13’s launch, however, is also still uncertain, presuming Apple is targeting this year for these features in the first place.