Kuo: iPhone 8 To Feature Lightning Port with USB Power Delivery Support for Fast Charging

Contrary to controversial claims made in a recent Wall Street Journal piece alleging Apple would do the unthinkable—ditch the Lightning port on new iPhones in favor of USB-C—KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo shared his thoughts on the topic in the latest notes to clients, obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, all three iPhone models released in 2017 will retain Lightning connectors.

A WSJ report from yesterday claimed that Apple was considering using USB-C port on the iPhone 8 which sparked quite a bit of debate. The move, however, of continuing to use the Lightning port while supporting USB-C Power Delivery would make the most sense from Apple. This would also ensure that one would be able to connect their iPhone to their 2016 MacBook without using any converter or adapter. Popular Android smartphones that already support USB-PD include Google’s Pixel and Nexus 5X/6P.

Lastly, KGI cited a lack of clear advantages in changing the connector type. The analyst added that iPhone 8’s rumored two-cell L-shaped battery pack design should charge even faster than the traditional battery packs expected in iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus.

Here’s a relevant excerpt from Kuo’s note:
New 2H17 models may all support fast charging. We believe all three new iPhones launching in 2H17 will support fast charging by the adoption of Type-C Power Delivery technology (while still retaining the Lightning port). A key technical challenge lies with ensuring product safety and stable data transmission during a fast charge.
In order to achieve that goal, we think Apple will adopt TI’s power management and Cypress’s Power Delivery chip solutions for the new iPhone models. We note the OLED version may have a faster charging speed thanks to a 2-cell L shaped battery pack design.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus lack any kind of fast charging technology, while the feature is found even on budget Android devices nowadays. On paper, the inclusion of fast charging might not seem like a big deal but it can easily change one’s charging and smartphone usage habits. In addition to fast charging, all the three iPhone variants will also feature wireless charging.

In other words: although upcoming iPhones are expected to retain Lightning I/O, Apple will build support for the USB Power Delivery standard. So, with the right USB charger and cable (Lightning on one end and Type-A or Type-B on the other end), new iPhones will support faster charging without switching Lightning connectors for USB-C.


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