This week Apple held its virtual October event highlighting its latest iPhone models. For the first time, Apple has revealed 4 iPhone models for its annual line up. Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “the iPhone 12 begins a new era for the smartphone. Many might assume Cook was referring to 5G connectivity with that statement, and while I agree 5G is part of the equation, I believe Cook’s vision for the future of the iPhone is much more ambitious.
The iPhone 12 series has numerous new features and improvements over last year’s iPhone 11 series of phones. For one, all of the iPhones in Apple’s lineup are equipped with OLED displays. Significant camera improvements make their way across all of the new iPhones. However, only the 12 pro series of iPhones will receive the new Lidar camera sensor, which will be used for 3D Mapping for improved AR and even faster autofocus.
One new feature that Apple did introduce this week that I feel will have significantly more impact in the coming years, and that feature is MagSafe on the iPhone. All of the new iPhones are equipped with an array of magnets on the phone’s rear to assist with perfect alignment for apples fresh MagSafe accessories. You can even charge your new iPhone through this rear magnetic mount with a new MagSafe charger.
The introduction of this new charging method is a subtle warning for a future many in the tech community has seen coming for some time now. Apple is getting ready to kill the charging port on the iPhone. For those hoping that the iPhone would ever adopt a USB-C port like the MacBook and iPad Pro, I’m sorry to report that Apple plans to eliminate this port altogether. In the past, Apple has said its vision of the iPhone was to be a port less and buttonless slab of glass, and this new MagSafe standard is apple setting the stage to eliminate one of the essential ports on an iPhone or any device for that matter.
You may be asking yourself why would apple eliminate the charging port on their devices. Apple has a record of pushing the technology community forward, even when they understand these transitions will be uncomfortable. Eliminating this port will work wonders for the device’s security, blacking nearly all brute force attempts to access data stored on the device. Having no port would also increase the device’s resistance to dust and water elements, damaging the device or causing the device to deteriorate faster.
I believe Apple is pragmatic about this new standard and easing its customers into this change slower than usual. The iPhone 12 series will still have the option to charge via the lightning port on the phone’s bottom. Apple is hoping its users will adopt this charging method now, so they will have the proper hardware already on hand when apple is ready to make the switch to a port less iPhone. I believe that change is coming sooner than we think, perhaps as early as the iPhone 13.
Without a doubt, this change will stress those who aren’t prepared to make the switch, no matter Apple’s efforts to soften the blow.