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AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
What’s next for Apple cables?
WE'LL USB-C

It looks like the next iPhone will have a new type of charging cable

Mike Murphy
By Mike Murphy

Technology editor

If you’ve had Apple products since the early days of the iPod, you’re probably used to hoarding cables and then having to just put them in a box in the back of your closet every time you get a new device.

First there was FireWire, then Apple’s 30-pin connector, and most recently, its Lighting cable, found on current iPhones and iPads. A new report from 9to5Mac suggests that the next iPhones may come with a new type of connection.

Photos have emerged of what appears to be an Apple charging brick (the square hunk of plastic that actually plugs into the outlet) that has a USB-C connection. That’s the same type of connector now found on Apple’s laptops, and can send and receive far more power and data than a traditional USB cables. (They’re also a lot easier to plug in.)

What’s not clear from the photos is whether the cable that would plug into the iPhones would have a Lightning connector at the other end (which Apple currently sells to charge iPhones from a new Mac laptop), or if it would be USB-C at both ends. The former would not have much impact on people who already own a bunch of iPhone cables, as they could keep using the old ones to charge the new phones. But the latter would mean buying new cables all over again. A USB-C cable would allow the next-generation iPhones to charge far more quickly than current models, as many Android devices have been able to do for the last few years. (The iPhone X has this ability too, but you need to buy a USB-C cable and an iPad charging brick to make use of it.)

Although manufacturers are increasingly adopting USB-C for devices ranging from drones to digital cameras, keyboards and smartphones, consumers deep into the Apple ecosystem are unlikely to have many of them lying around, unless they own a newer Mac. Apple wasn’t immediately available to comment on the report.

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