iPhone 12 is likely stuck with a Lightning port, but iPhone 13 might be portless

The iPhone 11 range's Lightning port might not be going anywhere for a while (Image credit: Future)

If you were hoping the iPhone 12 would have a USB-C port (which has a number of advantages over Apple’s current Lightning solution, from faster charging to compatibility with more cables), you’re probably out of luck, as while there were some suggestions this would happen, multiple leakers have now said it won’t.

The most recent of these is @choco_bit, a Twitter leaker who doesn’t yet have much of a track record, but who is gaining some recognition. In a tweet they claimed that there were USB-C prototypes, but that these aren’t making it to production, so there’s “1 more year of Lightning”.

The good news though is that according to this source Apple will put a Smart Connector on the iPhone 13 – that’s a thing that iPads use to attach accessories without the need for a port. In a follow-up tweet @choco_bit clarified that the iPhone 13 is unlikely to use the Smart Connector to charge, but that it will probably be portless, relying on wireless charging instead.

So if this is accurate we’ll probably never see USB-C on an iPhone, but next year the company could make a bigger jump if it really releases a portless handset.

We would however take this with a huge side of salt, since as noted the source doesn’t have much of a track record yet – they’ve made a bunch of claims about the iPhone 12, but of course it remains to be seen whether they’re accurate or not.

That said, this isn’t the first or only source to say things along these lines. Jon Prosser (who has a great track record) has previously said that “there’s absolutely not USB-C in iPhone 12” and that “Apple will go portless before they go USB-C”. An analyst has also previously pointed to a portless iPhone in 2021.

So while we can’t totally rule USB-C out, it’s looking unlikely. We wouldn’t count on the iPhone 13 being portless as it’s very early for rumors about that phone, but it’s currently looking like it will either be portless or lumbered with Lightning again.

Via Apple Insider

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.