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Apple has started its retreat from the Lightning port

By Dave Gershgorn

Apple’s newest iPad Pro, just announced today (Oct. 30) at the company’s October hardware event, is thinner and lighter, and squeezes iPad-sized screens into smaller form factors.

There’s one thing that’s missing—the Lightning port. Apple has ditched the proprietary charging and data port in favor of a more universal option, the USB-C port. This means that the iPhone and Airpods are the only Apple products in this newest generation of offerings that have a Lightning port. Laptops, desktops, and now tablets are all sporting the USB-C.

Apple switched to its Lightning port in 2012 with the iPhone 5. The new port was far smaller than the previous 30-pin cable originally used by iPods. It wasn’t just smaller—it was also reversible! For six years, every new mobile product Apple released has had a Lightning port—until the newest iPad Pro.

As the USB-C invades Apple’s mobile lineup, the company also has started adding wireless charging to iPhones. Coupled with Apple’s history of removing buttons and ports from its devices, it seems unlikely that the Lightning port will be included in future Apple phones. Maybe they’ll have USB-C. Or maybe they’ll have nothing at all.