Should Apple go portless or add a USB-C port to the iPhone?
Apple’s Lightning connector sucks.
- It’s slow
- It’s delicate
- It’s unnecessary
And I am a huge Apple fanboy.
But I feel deeply conflicted.
Two years ago Apple removed the brick from my iPhone box to save the planet. I get that. It helped with carbon emissions.
It also saved Apple $6.5B.
But if the planet is so important to Apple, how has Apple not removed the Lightning connector from my cable to save the planet since 2012?
I’ll tell you why.
Because this time it will cost Apple more than $6.5B.
It’s easy to save the planet when it benefits your bottom line. But true leadership is shown when you take action knowing that it will affect your bottom line and still have the courage to push through.
How much does Apple make from its Lightning cables?
Apple sold more than 2.2 billion iPhones and more than 360 million iPads before they stopped making numbers public.
Some people need extra cables:
- At work
- At home
- For the car
And some people break the in-the-box Lightning cables and have to replace them.
Say for every second iPhone or iPad sold, a user bought just one extra Apple Lightning cable for $19 which probably costs Apple around $1 (if not less) to make.
That’s give or take $43.5B on Lightning cable sales alone.
But let’s put this in context.
Imagine you climb a staircase with every step packed with $100,000 in freshly printed bills — a respectable yearly salary in the US. Taking that you’re eager to climb, it takes you around a second to climb each step.
- After 10 seconds you’d reach $1 million.
- After 2 hours 47 minutes, you’d reach $1 billion.