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Update: iPhone 8 won’t switch to USB-C – but iPhone charging will get faster

Contrary to a Wall Street Journal article this week claiming Apple will be removing the Lightning charging connector from its tenth anniversary ‘iPhone 8,’ analysts KGI Securities have said the port that’s been in place since the iPhone 5 will remain.

In a note to the company’s clients, obtained by MacRumors, it was predicted Apple would retain the port across all three iPhones expected to be released this fall.

Considering Apple replaced the MacBook’s ports with 4 USB-C ports, this might have been an expected move. So why wouldn’t Apple put a USB-C port on an iPhone? KGI points out two key reasons. Firstly, that there are ongoing royalties from MFI-certified accessories that Apple would lose out on if it made a drastic switch, and secondly, a USB-C port is larger than a Lightning port, so may affect the device’s depth.

Of course, USB-C is much smaller, and reversible, compared to your standard USB connector, but it’s still bigger than Apple’s own connector.

However, the report does say Apple will be improving its charging technology. While many competing devices offer a kind of fast-charging capability, Apple is yet to do so. But on the next iPhone we might see new technology inside, which will improve the charging speed. The technology will support USB Power Delivery, and will require Apple to source new parts for the devices.

KGI also said, simply, that there weren’t enough advantages to changing the port from Lightning – especially when Apple is planning on introducing new battery packs, for even faster charging.

The note relays:

“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.”