Apple’s Lightning connector was the first great port — and USB-C might be the last

Apple’s Lightning connector
RIP Lightning. You were proprietary, which was annoying, but you were so easy to plug in. | Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

The Lightning connector really only had two jobs: be tiny and be foolproof. Apple developed the new port for the iPhone 5, which at the time was simultaneously the largest, thinnest, and lightest iPhone the company had ever made. That made every millimeter of space and milligram of weight matter. For nearly a decade, Apple’s go-to connector had been the 30-pin Dock Connector, which was positively gigantic — about four times the size of a standard Micro USB plug. The Dock Connector was also fragile and a bit fussy. You had to stick the cable in just so in order to get the little hooks on the end to attach to the port. After a decade of Dock Connector, Apple needed something better.

When Apple introduced Lightning at its annual fall event…

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