At least one Apple iPhone 13 model is expected to be introduced later this year without a charging port. To prepare consumers for an iPhone without a connector, Apple shipped the iPhone 12 line without a charging brick in the box. It also introduced the MagSafe line of accessories that attach to a compatible iPhone with a magnet. One of the MagSafe products is a charger with a USB-C connector on the end. This connects to a 20W USB-C power adapter, which is available from the Apple Store (brick-and-mortar and online) for an additional $19. The MagSafe charger costs $39 or $3.25 per month over 12 months.
Not having an opening into the phone might improve water resistance, which is already outstanding on the iPhone 12 Pro series. But without a port, how will affected iPhone 13 users restore and recover their data in case of a serious issue? Right now, users can plug in their Lightning cord and with a USB-B or USB-C plug on the other end, connect to their computer to restore or recover lost data. Apple Watch users in the same situation are forced to ship the timepiece back to Apple to find and install lost data. This service is not free by the way.
Apple engineers have also considered using Bluetooth to send the files that an iPhone user needs. This would start like the previously mentioned recovery methods, but use Bluetooth to update the affected iPhone. However, these signals were considered slower, more unreliable, and less secure. Using Bluetooth would also require the user to sync their iPhone to the Bluetooth signal via a PC/Mac and follow the instructions.
Hardware engineers have tried to integrate wireless data access into the iPhone. The Apple Watch has a hidden port built into the area of the watch where the band is attached. Apple uses it when a watch is shipped to it to restore/recover a file. For the iPhone, Apple is reportedly considering adding a hidden port to the back of the SIM card slot. The company will ultimately have to decide whether a software or hardware solution is the best way to go. Again, things like speed, security, ease of use and other factors will have to be considered.
Apple is reportedly testing these “Internet Recovery” methods, but so far the speeds have been too slow. It’s only February, and Apple can wait to make some important decisions for this year’s iPhone models. And a few years ago, the company reportedly made a last-second decision not to include wireless reverse charging in this year’s models.
The interesting thing about this whole portless iPhone thing is the timing. The removal of the charger from the box, the introduction of the MagSafe line were all prerequisites, and if you look at it that way, the chances of Apple going portless this year are better than you might have expected.
Apple is reportedly testing how a portless iPhone can recover data