With micro USB ports gradually disappearing from mainstream consumer electronics devices, the two major charging connectors available in smartphones today are USB-C and Apple’s Lightning port.
While Apple has switched to USB-C for its iPads, the Cupertino company still uses the outdated Lightning connector for iPhones. That might change in the future, as the European Union proposes a universal charger for electronic gadgets.
EU makes it compulsory to include USB-C for electronic devices
The EU’s plan, presented as a significant move against e-waste and customer annoyance, seeks to establish USB-C as the gold standard for electronic devices. All smartphones (including the Apple iPhone), tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers, and handheld gaming consoles are included.
If this plan is approved, Apple will most likely be the most negatively impacted tech company. And it will be fascinating to watch whether, as a result of the EU’s push, Apple ultimately switches to a USB-C connector on the iPhone.
Apple may offer iPhones with USB-C in Europe while continuing to utilize the Lightning connection elsewhere as a workaround. However, even for a trillion-dollar corporation like Apple, this is likely to be an expensive venture.
On the other hand, Apple has long been believed to be working on portless iPhones, and this new regulation may be the perfect opportunity for Apple to remove the charging port from its smartphone portfolio. Because these recommendations apply to wired chargers, Apple may make building portless iPhones a priority in the near future.
As expected, the Cupertino behemoth is opposed to the EU’s proposal to include a USB-C connector on iPhones and has issued an official statement.
“We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world,” says Apple.
It is crucial to emphasize that all of this is currently simply a suggestion. The proposal must be approved by both the European Parliament and the Council in order to become legislation. However, the rate at which the proposal has been moving through the commission process recently implies that it will be accepted and put into action very shortly. Furthermore, IT businesses will have 24 months (2 years) from the date of adoption to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Other features of the plan include standardized fast charging technology, unbundling chargers from the box (which would please Apple, Samsung, and soon Google), and providing customers with useful information regarding charging performance. According to the EU, these regulations will help reduce the number of new chargers required and potentially save €250 million each year.
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