Patent suggests next generation Lightning connector with waterproof seal

While nobody should base their purchasing decisions on patents, it’s always interesting to see what companies are working on behind the scenes. Today, it looks like Apple is working on a next generation Lightning connector.

According to Patently Apple, the company is working on updating its current Lightning connector design to “create a liquid-tight seal.”

It notes that as our devices are getting more use, it’s becoming increasingly important to protect them from Mother Nature. Starting with the Apple Watch, and then the iPhone 7, Apple has been creating water tight seals around their devices to help protect them from water damage. With the Watch specifically, Apple has even created a “water mode” that disables the input to the device and even spurts out water after you disable the mode.

In this latest case, Apple is looking to seal the Lightning port. It’s unclear whether or not the seal will be on the device side, or on the Lightning cable’s side, but still proves to be interesting.

In one example, the device itself creates a deformable seal once a Lightning cable is plugged in. This particular scenario could cause issues down the road if the seal is damaged internally as it would require the user to replace the entire device, rather than simply replacing the cable.

While this is all interesting, it should be taken as a grain of salt, as patents don’t typically mean anything. It will be interesting to see if Apple moves forward with Lightning, however, as both Apple Watch and iPhone now support wireless charging in some form. If anything, it may be likely Apple will phase out Lightning in favor of wireless charging as the company continues to push that future.


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