Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said that Apple plans to release its first iPhone without ports in 2021. He said that Apple is looking to remove the Lightning port from its high-end iPhone first before considering following suit with the rest of the line-up (via 9to5Mac).
In the same note, Kuo says Apple will release four OLED iPhones in 2020, all of which will be 5G capable. The line-up will be a 5.4in, two 6.1in and a 6.7in device, though it’s unclear at this stage if this means Apple will drop the LCD screen of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 11 altogether.
The other differentiator aside from screen size is said to be the cameras, with the 5.4in and one of the 6.1in iPhones with dual cameras, with one 6.1in and the 6.7in phones with triple cameras. This implies the iPhone 12 will be split into two phones, and the iPhone 12 Pro into two phones, offering a wider choice of screen size and price across Apple’s range.
Excitingly, Kuo believes Apple will also bring in a design change to the 2020 iPhones that will recall the iPhone 4. The iconic design is much beloved by Apple fans, and would no doubt prove a popular decision.
It suggests Apple is keen to play on nostalgia, albeit in a subtle way. The current iPad Pro design takes several cues from the iPhone 5.
But it is the idea of an iPhone with no ports that raises eyebrows. Companies like Vivo have experimented with phones with no holes, but for Apple to do it would be confirmation to the rest of the industry that the future of smartphones is truly wireless.
Kuo says this phone will “provide the completely wireless experience”, implying no ports at all, rather than jumping to USB-C from Lightning. It implies Apple will stick with Lightning on its iPhones despite moving the iPad Pro to USB-C last year.
The implication is the phone would charge wirelessly. Apple dropped the headphone jack from its iPhones way back in 2016.
Ming-Chi Kuo is usually in the right ballpark when it comes to these predictions but take them with a pinch of salt. Apple will have to be very confident to release a phone with no ports, but two years is a long time in tech.