Apple is reportedly getting close to launching an iPhone without any Lightning port, according to Appleosophy, who has revealed the company is working on several methods of restoring the device if it should require to be flashed.
Currently, if your phone OS is compromised so badly that you need the device to restored, it can be done over the lightning cable by plugging it into a PC. The long rumoured portless iPhone will not be able to do this, but Apple is working on alternative methods that would not require the device to be shipped to Apple, like what is necessary currently for the portless Apple Watch if it needs restoring.
According to Appleosophy’s exclusive information, Apple is looking at 3 different methods.
Internet Recovery over WIFI
The first is Internet Recovery over WIFI, where your device could be placed manually or automatically into a Recovery Mode which would broadcast an Internet Restore signal, which could then be picked up by iTunes/Finder and then transfer the required recovery files to your phone. This method is apparently the leading contender but still 2.5x slower than a wired recovery.
Internet Recovery over Bluetooth.
This would be a similar feature, but this would require connecting to your PC over Bluetooth, and the technology is reportedly slow, unreliable and insecure, and has been shot down by the engineering team.
Wired restore via hidden POGO pads
Apple has also tasked its hardware engineers to solve the problem, and they are reportedly investigating electrical connection points hidden in the SIM slot, similar to the connectors hidden under the watch band slot on the Apple Watch. This would allow a special SIM tray to be used to connect electrically to the iPhone and restore the device that way. This solution has also not been settled on yet, and another alternative would be pads inside the device, which would require the device to be disassembled to access. This method would of course not be suitable for home use.
According to Appleosophy all of the techniques still have a long way to go and Apple is still in the early prototyping phase, but they are confident Apple will have solved the problems if they ship a portless iPhone 13.