What does it take to top Apple? Not much. Just a few weeks ago I read about a new smartphone that comes without buttons and without a charging port? No buttons. No holes.
Not long after that, I read that Apple was working on the same thing. An iPhone without buttons and holes. Pure wireless. No wires.
Between you and me and the fencepost, I tend to see such advancements as more wishful thinking than reality. What happens with something goes wrong and the device will not turn on?
Hey. Stuff happens. Or, in this case, it does not happen.
Nothing is 100-percent perfect. Even the Lightning port sometimes go wonky; cable, connector, software, something. That means a trip to Google and maybe a trip to the Genius bar to fix whatever went wrong.
This week I read about Intel next generation Tiger Lake mobile chips. They will come with built-in support for Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 4. That means we could get a Mac with an even faster connector. 4X the speed of USB-C or USB-3.
Why doesn’t Apple put Thunderbolt 3 into iPhone and iPad? iPad Pro has USB-C already, and both Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C share the same connector. It has to do with ownership. Intel makes chips for Mac but not iPhone or iPad. Barring a magical breakthrough in technology, that will not happen. Thunderbolt is Intel technology which Apple uses on the Mac. With Intel Inside.
There may come a time in the future when display and wireless technology is so good that the percent of failure is less than that provided by a connector or cable, a day where the display acts as a microphone and a speaker, where physical buttons and ports are unnecessary.
That day is not here. Yet.
Will that day arrive? Yes. It’s math. When the math supports active wireless and always-on, in-display technology for buttons that work better than physical buttons or ports, someone will make the jump.
Meanwhile, don’t look for Thunderbolt support on future iPhones or iPads. Despite advantages, it’s a USB-C world.