iPhone 12 leak reveals bad news for Apple's next flagship

iPhone 12
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If you're still holding out hope that the iPhone 12 will feature a USB-C port, you might want to temper those expectations. According to Front Page Tech host and rising Apple leaker Jon Prosser, there is "absolutely not" going to be an iPhone 12 with USB-C connectivity.

Prosser, who very accurately predicted the entire rollout of the new iPhone SE 2020, claims that "Apple will go portless before they go USB-C." That may put an end to conflicting iPhone 12 rumors from the past few months, some of which suggested that Apple may indeed switch to the popular charging standard found on most Android phones.

Speculation around Apple using USB-C for the iPhone 12 started heating up earlier this year, when the European Union voted in favor of encouraging smartphone makers to adopt a universal charging standard. This standard has yet to be voted into law, but it did make the possibility of a USB-C iPhone seem a bit more likely.

In a statement given to BBC in January, Apple claimed that ditching its proprietary Lightning port would affect "hundreds of millions of active devices and accessories used by our European customers" and create a significant amount of electronic waste. But Apple has abandoned previous charging standards in the past, dropping its 30-pin connector in 2012 in favor of Lightning. The company also currently uses USB-C for its iPad Pro, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air devices.

Given Prosser's relatively strong track record with Apple leaks, coupled with Apple's statements against fully switching to USB-C, we're inclined to believe that the iPhone 12 will launch without the popular port. In fact, to Prosser's point about Apple going "portless," we may see a fully wireless iPhone as soon as next year.

That's according to a separate leak from Prosser last month, in which he claimed that the rumored return of AirPower is "necessary to push portless iPhone." Noted Apple watcher Ming-Chi Kuo also stated in late 2019 that he expects Apple to launch a completely wireless iPhone by the end of 2021, according to MacRumors.

Regardless of how long it takes Apple to go fully portless, it seems safe to assume that this year's iPhone 12 will not make the switch to USB-C. Apple's upcoming flagship could come in as many as four different varieties this fall, with key features that include 5G support, 120Hz displays on the high-end models, a new A14 CPU and advanced camera tech such as LiDAR depth sensors. 

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.