Apple Inc. appears to be planning to drop the lightning port from the next iPhone release, suggests a report in Forbes. A new patent published by the US Patent and Trademark Office shows that the tech giant could replace the lightning port with an optical connector to reduce physical imperfections.
Apple launched the iPhone 7 models without the old reliable 3.5mm headphone jack earlier this month. The tech giant faced criticism for replacing the 3.5mm jack with a lightning port that transmits audio data through a powered digital interface. The company introduced new wireless headphones called AirPods, which allow a more personal interaction with Siri.
The new granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office was published on Tuesday. The patent describes a system where data could flow between two devices through an optical interface. There will be a series of tiny holes from where optical information will pass through.
The parent mentions that “an electronic device having an optical connector that provides and/or receives optical signals through openings or perforations formed at an external surface of the electronic device.”
The openings or tinny holes can serve as the interface of the optical connector through which the electronic device can engage in one-way or two-way communication with corresponding optical connectors of other electronic devices, according to the filing.
The openings will be very small and they won’t be visible or not easily visible with the naked human eye, according to the patent filing.
The Forbes report suggests that Apple Inc. would use some form of magnetic connector to position a data cable to pick up the visual signal. This connector is also expected to charge the iPhone through induction.
Why Is Apple Removing Lightning Port?
It is hard to understand why the iPhone maker going to remove the lightning port after killing the 3.5mm jack in the iPhone. One thing that we know is that Apple wants a world without wires.
Apple Inc. “removes things from hardware, be it floppy disk drives, DVD readers, or headphone jacks. It wants to live in a world where devices do not have bulky and fragile connectors in its devices. If it can, it’s going to strip the excess away,” the Forbes article reads.
So, wired audio devices are now historical things. Still, it’s not sure how users will react if the company removes the lightning port.
When announcing the new wireless ear buds at the iPhone event, Apple executive Phillip Schiller said that the tech behemoth “do have a vision for how audio should work on mobile devices: Wireless.”
“It makes no sense to tether ourselves with cables to our mobile devices,” Schiller said. “Until someone takes on these challenges, that’s what we’ll do.”