This week, the US Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple a patent for a new magnetic connector capable of charging an iPhone. This comes after rumors that Apple is considering removing the Lightning port from its smartphones in the future.
According to Patently Apple, the patent shows a new type of connector compared to the Smart Connector on the iPad and even the MagSafe from older MacBooks. This connector will replace the Lightning port as a new way to charge your iPhone from the illustrations.
The patent states that the new connector is designed to improve the iPhone’s water-resistance, as it is completely magnetized. While it seems unlikely that Apple will create another connector for its devices, this shows that the company is indeed looking into replacing or removing the Lightning port on the iPhone.
Last year, Apple introduced MagSafe for iPhone, a new magnetic connector based on the Qi standard that you can attach to the back of your phone to charge it. While the iPhone 12 still has a Lightning port, it is rumored that future models may remove this connector, so users will have MagSafe as their only alternative to charge their iPhone.
At the same time, reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said earlier this week that Apple would keep the Lightning port for another year on iPhone 13 models, which doesn’t mean Apple has completely ruled out its plans to release a portless iPhone. Apple has been promoting the idea of a wireless-only world since the introduction of the AirPods, so it won’t be a surprise if they remove the only remaining port on the iPhone.