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Your next iPhone may not have a Lightning port


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How attached are you to your iPhone’s Lightning port? Do you use it to connect to devices and peripherals, or perhaps even your car? Well, you might have to live without it if analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is right.

According to a research note by Kuo, seen by 9to5Mac, CNBC, and MacRumors, big changes could be on the way.

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The first change Kuo is bracing for — based on supply chain chatter — is a high-end iPhone that does away with the Lightning port. Apple dumped the headphone jack, so it’s not that much of a stretch to see Apple dumping the Lightning port and moving on to a completely wireless iPhone.

This could mean dumping a whole raft of hardware that uses Lightning — maybe even your car is you use it for CarPlay. But that’s Apple’s way.

But don’t panic yet, as Kuo isn’t expecting this to land until 2021. If you were expecting high-end iPhones to make the switch to USB-C, well, you should probably stop holding your breath.

This is just one of the many changes that Kuo is predicting. Another release Kuo says is incoming in 2021 is a follow-on to the iPhone SE. According to the research note, an iPhone SE 2 featuring a 4.7-inch LCD display and a form factor similar to the iPhone 8 will land in during the first half of 2020, and this will be followed by an iPhone SE 2 Plus in 2021. What does the “Plus” mean in this context? According to the report, it will feature a 5.5- or 6.1-inch display in an all-screen design with no Home button, but no Face ID. Instead, the Touch ID sensor will be built into the on/off button.

But there’s more.

Kuo expects Apple to release five new iPhones over 2020, with Apple staggering the releasee, and the budget iPhone SE 2 launching early in the year, followed by four models featuring OLED displays and different combinations of cameras. There will be a 5.4-inch OLED with dual-rear cameras, a 6.1-inch OLED with dual-rear cameras, a 6.1-inch OLED with triple-rear cameras, and a 6.7-inch OLED with triple-rear cameras — landing during the usual fall slot.

According to Kuo, Apple’s motivation for this switch to two launches is to even out sales throughout the year. I would also expect this to take the pressure off the supply chain and allow Apple to better accommodate changes in demand.

Kuo makes no predictions related to pricing, and this could be key, as Apple is at present ignoring the budget end of the sales spectrum. This is likely important in keeping sales buoyant and the ecosystem growing.

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