Apple’s iPhone line will be forced to make the jump to USB-C, at least in the European Union (EU).
EU member states and legislators have agreed to mandate a single mobile charging port in smartphones, tablets and cameras. This will force some manufacturers to ditch the ageing micro-USB port, most notably, Apple will need to kill off its proprietary Lightning technology.
The agreement, which is the first of its kind, will force all devices released in late 2024 to feature USB-C and does not apply to devices released prior to the new rules. While most major smartphone manufacturers, including Samsung, LG, Huawei and more, have moved to USB-C, Apple continues to feature its Lightning port in its iPhone line, entry-level iPad and several accessories.
We have reached a deal on the common charger! 🔌👏
✔️mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, digital cameras & more #USBtypeC
✔️harmonised fast-charging technology
✔️unbundling of sale of chargers from the sale of device
— IMCO Committee Press (@EP_SingleMarket) June 7, 2022
“Today we have made the common charger a reality in Europe,” said the European Parliament’s rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba in a press statement. “European consumers were frustrated long with multiple chargers piling up with every new device. Now they will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics.”
It’s also worth noting that the EU’s legislation includes provisions tied toward a unified wireless and fast-charging standard. The EU says that its USB-C mandate could save consumers 250 million euros per year on charger purchases and cut down on 11,000 tonnes of e-waste.
Given rumours point to Apple already testing iPhones equipped with USB-C, it appears the tech giant was ready for this change. What’s still unclear is if this means Apple will move its entire iPhone line over to USB-C worldwide or if a specific USB-C model of the device will be sold in the EU. The former situation is far more possible given it’s not likely Apple would sell iPhone models with substantial hardware differences in various regions.
With this in mind, Apple likely won’t make the switch USB-C until the release of its 2023 iPhone models.