A version of “iPhone 13” that lacks a Lightning port could force changes to recovery processes, a report says, with an “Internet Recovery” mode that allows reinstallation of iOS without connecting the iPhone to a Mac. or PC.
Recovering an unresponsive iPhone generally requires it to be connected to another device, usually through the Lightning port on the dock. If rumors of a portless iPhone are true, the lack of a Lightning port or any other standard physical connection can make device maintenance difficult.
To allow a full reinstall of iOS on an unresponsive iPhone without a separate physical connection, Apple is reportedly looking for ways to do so. Based on rumors of Apple philosophy, the main way to do this is by using something tentatively called “Internet Recovery”.
Apple’s software teams are said to be examining three ways to put the iPhone into a recovery mode.
The first method involves a user putting the iPhone into manual recovery mode, which triggers the Internet Restore stream. This is picked up by nearby Macs or a PC with iTunes installed, which will display prompts to guide the user through the rest of the restore.
The second way is that the device enters the mode automatically and the same prompts appear again. A third party apparently involves the use of Bluetooth as a “last resort” measure for signal transmission and for data transfer.
Apple is believed to be interested in using the first two methods for recovery options and has apparently been testing the processes for a while. However, it is claimed that the processes are currently too slow for public use, indicating that more work is needed on the subject.
While wireless recovery options are the main focus of the effort, physical access is not yet completely forgotten. Apparently a hardware team is considering using pogo pads to initiate a physical connection, without requiring a standard port to be available.
Currently, it is suggested that Apple could hide the pads at the back of the SIM card slot and use a custom SIM tray cable to interact with them.
Hidden ports are not new to Apple, like the one on the back of the Apple TV and Apple Watch. However, it is claimed that the team working on the problem cannot make modifications to the case, such as protecting the pads behind a door or panel, which could hinder development.
Rumors of a portless iPhone have circulated over the years, but so far it has yet to be proven correct. The medium’s relative lack of a track record also makes it difficult to consider how genuine the rumor is at the moment.
The “iPhone 13” is currently rumored to have an always-on display that could also run at 120Hz, a quad-camera system on the back with LiDAR, a minimized notch, and the return of Touch ID.