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Thinking of getting the next iPhone? Your old charging cables might not work

Another year, another iPhone. At least, that’s been Apple’s tradition since it unveiled its first smartphone back in 2007. In the years since then, the iPhone has grown into one of the most successful products of all time — a fact boosted by Apple’s dedication to build quality, ease of use and user experience.

In 2012, everything changed. The iPhone received its most radical redesign yet: the iPhone 5. This device radically altered the form factor of the iPhone, but its most notable change was an entirely new port for charging. This, naturally, led to consumers having to replace every charging cord they owned with newly minted “lightning cables.” Needless to say, people weren’t too happy — but that didn’t stop the iPhone 5 from having an otherwise smashing launch.

Now, it looks as if Apple is attempting to repeat history. Leaked iPhone schematics — along with a mysterious graphic in the code of the upcoming iOS 13 — point to a new generation of charging cables on Apple’s latest device. Strangely enough, the reaction this time might be more positive than negative.

Will the upcoming iPhone have a new charging cable?

This autumn, Apple is set to release the latest version of its premium mobile operating system: iOS 13. This new update is said to contain a range of bug fixes, as well as some new privacy features and smoother integration with accessories like the Apple Watch — particularly in the realm of health.

If history is to be believed, the company should also be debuting a new phone around the same time as iOS 13. This has been a consistent pattern for Apple, with new hardware always debuting every year to showcase the new software. And, like clockwork, fans have been able to get their hands on mock-ups and schematics floating around the manufacturing centers of China.

Rumors and leaked documents surrounding the upcoming phone point to a similar form factor compared to the iPhone X and XS. But a curious new addition was observed on beta versions of the unreleased iOS 13 software. When a French Twitter user attempted to restore his phone on the beta, he saw an alert image of a laptop and a cable that’s never been seen with any iPhone before. A USB type C cord!


If confirmed, this would make the latest iPhone the first model to feature an entirely new charging cable since 2013. It also means that your existing lightning cables might end up collecting dust very soon (unless, of course, you have other devices that use them.)

What does it mean that the iPhone is moving to USB-C?

Even though Apple faced some backlash for switching the cord on the iPhone 5, the reaction this time around might be quite different. For starters, USB-C is considered a standard cable across the computer world — used by PCs, Macs and even Android phones. This means that if anyone in your home owns a more recent Android phone, like a Galaxy S9, you’ll be able to share cables between devices.

This is a major boon for techies since so many devices use USB-C these days. Many commentators have been pushing Apple to adopt this cable, which is faster and more efficient at transferring data than USB 3 and Apple’s own lightning cable. It seems like this time around, however, Apple has finally listened to the demands of its customers.

It’s also worth mentioning that this move isn’t a total surprise. Months ago, Apple updated the charging port on the latest iPad Pro to USB-C, so it was only a matter of time before it finally reached its mobile products.

Before that, the latest Macs made exclusive use of USB-C ports over USB 3. With the latest port upgrade, now all of Apple’s devices — from computer to phone — will be able to charge using the same exact cable. Talk about convenient! And if you already own several USB-C devices, you might not even need to purchase new cables at all!

What else is new about the latest iPhone

A new iPhone wouldn’t be worth much without any new features, right? Well, aside from the charging cable, there aren’t too many new exterior features of note. Any internal features (such as a new biometric sensor) wouldn’t be visible from schematics alone, either. One major change that’s obvious from both leaks and mockups, however, is the camera array.

Yes, we said “array.” It’s a square of lenses on the back of the phone with three different cameras and a flashbulb working together.


The mockup above was put together by an Apple fan based on leaked information about the upcoming product.

Ironically, unlike the new charging cable, reaction to the camera array has been decidedly mixed. Some are praising the potential power it can offer iPhone photographers, while others are criticizing the design as “misguided,” or more commonly, “ugly.”

What do you think of the new iPhone camera? Will you be going forward with a new model this year, or sticking with what works on your existing iPhone?

One thing is for sure, borrowing a charging cable is about to become a lot easier for everyone!

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