We’ve been hearing rumors that Apple will stop using its proprietary Lightning connectors in favor of USB-C for years. Now it sounds like next year’s model, which most have taken to calling the iPhone 12, might not be the first one to ditch the Lightning connector. Instead, it sounds like the iPhone 13 — or whatever name is given to the 2021 line-up—could be the first to get rid of it.
What’s even more interesting is that Apple might not merely replace the Lightning connector with a USB-C port. It sounds like there’s more to the story.
iPhone 13 may be “completely wireless”
In a note to investors seen by MacRumors, Apple insider and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple plans to launch a high-end iPhone that doesn’t have a Lightning port in the second half of 2021. Based on the current numbering system, we’re only guessing that it could be the iPhone 13. By the time the phone is announced, it could have another name, but for simplicity’s sake, we’re referring to it as the iPhone 13.
According to Kuo, Apple is planning a “completely wireless experience,” which suggests more than the mere replacement of the Lightning port with USB-C. He said the company will differentiate between the most expensive iPhone model and the next one down by making the most expensive one completely wireless. This should help boost sales of the most expensive iPhone 13 model, he added.
It’s unclear what role, if any, USB-C will have in the iPhone 13 line-up. Apple could replace the Lightning connector with it in the other models, but Kuo doesn’t address that.
iPhone SE 2 Plus also expected in 2021
Kuo also expects 2021 to bring the launch of what he calls the “iPhone SE 2 Plus” in the first half of the year. He expects the device to have a full-screen design but lack Face ID. As a result, it could have a small notch. He also predicts that Touch ID will be built into the power button. He expects the iPhone SE 2 Plus to have a 5.5-inch or 6.1-inch display.
Kuo’s report of new iPhone models arriving in both the first and second half of 2021 lines up with what JPMorgan analysts said recently about Apple moving to staggered release dates with one release date in the first half of the year and the second in the second half of the year.
2020 details also mentioned
The note that included the iPhone 13 and iPhone SE 2 Plus also included image representations of the five iPhone 12 models Kuo expects Apple to release next year. He predicts that the company will offer a 4.7-inch model with LCD and four models with OLED displays. Two of the other four iPhone models could have 6.1-inch OLED displays, while the other two could have 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch displays.
The analyst expects the LCD-equipped model to have a single-lens camera on the back and the 5.4-inch and one 6.1-inch model to have a dual-lens camera on the back. He predicts triple-lens cameras for the other 6.1-inch model and the massive 6.7-inch iPhone 12.