We’re all in luck: a USB-C iPhone could be coming to the world

The European Union has decided: if Apple wants to sell a new one iPhone These devices will be mandatory in the region Have a USB-C port by the end of 2024.

This means that Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector, which has been around for more than a decade and has proven itself to be a huge revenue stream for the tech giant, will have to be phased out from future iPhones. At least those going to the EU.

“We have no choice – as we do all over the world, [Apple will] comply with local laws,” Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, told a Wall Street Journal Tech Brief on Oct. 25 when asked whether Apple would comply with the EU’s Common Charge Law.

“We think it would be better for the environment and our customers not to have such a mandated government.”

Although the legislation technically only applies to consumer electronics sold in the European Union, Apple may be forced to decide the fate of the Lightning port for iPhones shipped overseas. Most commercial phones charge and connect to accessories using the USB-C standard, but iPhones do not. Could this mean that future iPhones sold outside the European Union will also switch to a USB-C charging port? Or will Apple make hardware changes based on geography: producing two iPhone variants to support USB-C and Lightning, one for the EU and one for the rest of the world?

Apple already changes iPhone models regionally, as it did with the iPhone 14. The US version only has an electronic SIM card, while the other variants retain the SIM slot, as Techsponential analyst Avi Greengart points out. But he also thinks Apple has good reasons to move all iPhones to USB-C in the future.

“…There are more important ecosystem, security, and accessory considerations with the power/data connector, so Apple is more likely to move all iPhones. [globally] iPhone 16 to USB-C by deadline to comply with EU regulations.

Most commercially available smartphones have a USB-C port, but the iPhone does not. It uses Apple’s proprietary Lightning Port connector.


For more than a decade, European lawmakers have been calling for the inclusion of a standardized charger for electronic devices to reduce cable clutter and e-waste. The legislation, which is part of the amended Radio Equipment Directive, was finalized in June before the European Parliament voted in favor of the regulation in October. Its approval is seen as a win for consumers who will soon be able to use a USB-C charger on a range of accessories and devices, including more powerful devices like gaming laptops and 4K monitors. . Its adoption was also hailed as a victory for the environment. A European think tank estimates that chargers release up to 13,000 tonnes of e-waste per year in the EU, with lifecycle emissions equivalent to around 600-900 kilotons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Apple lobbied hard against the idea of ​​a generic phone charger. The tech giant says such legislative innovations could exacerbate the problem of bulldozing and e-waste, as it could make lightning cables obsolete for perhaps a billion people around the world. Apple, which collects royalties from third-party companies that make accessories designed for the iPhone, could lose out on revenue from every Lightning cable and accessory that fits the iPhone.

Despite Apple’s retreat, the tech giant has would be Try USB-C iPhone. Note that Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo predicted Apple will beat the EU mandate by a year by equipping the new iPhone with a USB-C port in 2023.

“USB-C may improve charging speed in iPhone transmission and hardware designs, but final features still depend on iOS support,” Kuo wrote on Twitter in May.

Ahead of the expected EU vote, the tech giant has gradually moved to USB-C in other products. It was integrated into MacBooks in 2015, iPad Pro in 2018, iPad Air in 2020, and iPad Mini in 2021. In addition to the iPhone 15, Kuo expects several other Apple accessories to make the move, including the AirPods, Magic Keyboard, and MagSafe Battery Pack. to USB-C, but he didn’t offer a specific timeline.

Read more: Will the USB-C iPhone make Apple’s Lightning cable obsolete? Not yet

In the long run, the switch from iPhone to USB-C will benefit Apple customers, as the law predicts. Since most of the company’s iPads and Macs use USB-C rather than Lightning, the move will make the charging experience easier for customers. Apple loyalists currently need three different chargers to power their iPhone, MacBook, iPhone and Apple watch. For a company that prides itself on its ecosystem, Apple offers a cumbersome charging experience that defies its philosophy of simplicity.

The Apple MagSafe Battery Pack is attached to the back of the iPhone 12 Pro

Apple has reintroduced MagSafe charging technology with the iPhone 12 line. Here’s the Apple MagSafe battery included in the iPhone 12 Pro.

Patrick Holland/CNET

“It makes sense for Apple [switch to a USB-C iPhone] In all markets, because it will not only improve the experience for users using iPad or Mac computers, but also simplify supply chain processes,” Will Wong, director of research at International, told CNET Data Corporation.

Read more: Apple’s dream for the iPhone may actually be a nightmare

Even if Apple eventually switches to USB-C for all iPhone models, there are valid arguments that it will be a short-lived fix. Rumors suggest that Apple is abandoning ports altogether on iPhones and leaving the traditional plug-in charger in the past. This potentially means that USB-C could be a stopgap measure before Apple moves into a wireless future.

“Portless is probably one of the developments that Apple is considering with the introduction of the MagSafe wireless charger,” Wong said. “However, there is obstacles such as slower charging speeds cope before being completely portless,”

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