Apple tested a laptop that used the same charger as the iPhone

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Getty

Apple’s newest line of laptops, the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar that was released in October, did not receive a very warm welcome from Mac fans.

Longtime Apple users complained about a lack of power, difficult repairability, and, most loudly, a dongle morass that meant that someone with Apple’s latest phone and Apple’s latest laptop would have to carry around multiple sets of chargers and adapters.

The MacBook Pro (and the skinny MacBook) uses a USB-C cord to charge, like high-end Android phones do. The iPhone 7 uses a proprietary Lightning port for power and headphones. Wouldn’t it be nice if they both used the same charger?

It turns out Apple tested a laptop with exactly that, according to a new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.

Early prototypes of Apple’s first USB-C equipped computer, the MacBook, used Apple’s Lightning port to charge. The benefits are obvious: People could carry the same charger for their laptop and their phone, and now that iPhones use Lightning headphones, those would work on both devices too.

But Apple ditched the design, in the midst of what seems like a chaotic development cycle for Apple’s laptops.

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The iPhone 7 charging port. Apple tested a laptop that used this kind of connector to charge.
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Thomson Reuters

In fact, Apple developed two prototypes for that skinny MacBook, which was supposed to be launched in 2014 but was eventually launched in 2016. In general, the Mac team is now asked to come up with multiple different options in the hope that one of them will be “shippable,” according to the report.

Other features that were cut from Apple’s laptop lineup include a MacBook with a fingerprint sensor and a second USB port, and a gold version of the MacBook Pro, which was ditched because it apparently didn’t look good on a big laptop.

This kind of turmoil has led to several engineers departing the team. Don’t expect a big Mac revamp next year – Bloomberg expects Apple to merely give the existing laptops speed bumps and new chips.