Forget iPhone 12: This PORTLESS iPhone just put Samsung and OnePlus on notice

This wireless-only iPhone is said to be on the way to beat its competitors to the punch

Apple iPhone 12
(Image credit: Donel Bagrov)

The iPhone 12 looks set to be an excellent range of handsets. With four phones of three different sizes, the range looks set to cover a wide variety of price points, but all the phones in the range will be 5G-capable, and all will be sporting the latest tech. 

But according to new reports, there's a new iPhone on the horizon, due out in 2021. This iPhone is said to be totally portless, eschewing any kind of physical connection such as a lightning cable. 

That's right: Apple could be looking to abandon its signature lightning cable in future generations of iPhone. The information comes from top Apple leakster Jon Prosser, who posted the following information to his Twitter account.

Prosser states Apple will "never" accept using USB-C, despite the European Union's new regulations on universal phone charging. Apple seems like it's going to get around this by offering a lightning-to-USB-C converter in European markets, but eventually, Prosser claims the phones will look to go portless.

A cheaper model – perhaps the iPhone SE 2 or SE Plus – is said to arrive with portless next year, with Prosser claiming "eventually, they'll all be portless". Check out the tweets below:

The portless iPhone looks set to revive Apple's long-gestating "AirPower" wireless charging system. But if Apple really intends to double-down on a portless phone there are several barriers to entry: one is the phone will have to come with its own set of AirPods and a wireless charger, which are sure to drive the price up. 

Is this the reason why pundits suspect the portless iPhone will be based on a cheaper model like the SE? To look at another experimental smartphone technology – folding phones – the specs are kept sub-par to mitigate the cost of the emerging technology. It stands to reason a portless iPhone isn't going to contain flagship specifications. 

Wireless charging

What leaps in wireless charging can we expect to see in 2021?

(Image credit: Future)

The other big barrier to portless entry is fast charging. When 45W plugged-in fast charging is an option, wireless charging must be able to keep up and charge the handset at the same pace, and frankly the technology isn't there yet. Before the phone is released in 2021, this will need to be cracked.

However, it's an intriguing step forward for Apple. As phones move towards the flawless glass-tablet image, portless may well become the norm for devices in a decade's time. Apple may simply be ahead of the curve.

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Matt Evans

Matt Evans now works for sister brand TechRadar, covering all things relating to fitness and wellness. He came to as staff writer before moving on, and was previously on Men's Health, and slightly counterintuitively, a website devoted to the consumption of Scotch whiskey. In his free time, he could often be found with his nose in a book until he discovered the Kindle.