Apple's f urther iPhone in 2021 could completely ditch a charging port in favour of wireless charging. Representationa; image of iPhone 11 Pro Max. (Image source: Bloomberg)
Apple's iPhone 12 has seen plenty of leaks around the new design, the upgraded cameras, but it looks like the iPhone in 2021 could mark one of the biggest changes: the end of a charging port entirely. So far we have seen plenty of rumours about whether Apple would kill the Lightning connector in favour of a Type-C USB port, given the iPad and MacBook now all come with Type-C USB charging. But that hasn't happened so far. Instead Apple adopt a radically different path, according to the latest report.
According to CNBC, which quotes Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF Securities, who is known for his accurate predictions, the iPhone 2021 will have no charging port. The Lightning connector will be removed on the highest-end versions, and instead replaced by wireless charging.
This, according to Kuo, could help the iPhone in 2021 stand out compared to other flagships in the market, and also push up the price of the high-end iPhone models.
Kuo appears to be indicating that the iPhones high-end variants will see this big change, and so there's a chance that Apple might not implement this on all models. Still, this could make the more expensive variants of iPhone stand out and be the big differentiating factor.
Vivo to Meizu: The other phones that want to ditch the charging port
Apple won't be the first company to completely ditch a charging port on a smartphone, if it decides to do so in 2021. Companies like Vivo and Meizu are already experimenting with the idea of having no ports on the phone, and even removing all buttons on the side. The phone of the future could be a slab of metal and glass with nothing jutting out on the side or no holes at the bottom.
The Vivo Apex 2019 is a concept phone that was showcased by the company this year. The unique bit was that it came with no charging port, the USB Type-C seen on most flagship was replaced by a proprietary magnetic wireless connector to charge the device. This could also be used for transferring data from the device.
Vivo Apex Concept phone 2019 charging as seen in this photo. (Image source: Indian Express)
Vivo went a step further and removed all buttons on the side as well, and instead marked out the volume and power buttons as pressure-sensitive touch areas. A small dotted portion would show where the power was located on the side of the display, instead of the traditional buttons that we are used to seeing on most phones.
Meizu also showcased its Meizu Zero, which had no buttons, no speakers holes and no charging port as well. Meizu even removed the SIM card slot, going for the eSIM option, which is likely to gain more popularity on phones of the future. The company had said it would use haptic feedback system to offer virtual buttons on the side for turning it on and off and for volume control.
Thanks to this approach, the Meizu Zero is basically one slab of ceramic with just a camera bump at the back. However, the phone had microphone holes at the bottom. Still, Meizu Zero was another concept phone and did not really go on sale, so it not something you can just go out and buy.
One advantage with ditching all ports on the device is of course it improves water-resistance on the device given there are no ports through which water can seep in. But it also means that users will have to rely on their newer accessories, the wireless charging pads or supported cables, which companies will no doubt introduce.