European Union Agrees to Force USB-C on Apple iPhones | Goodbye Lightning?

This legislation requires all smartphones with wired charging to use a USB-C port by fall 2024.
iPhone 13 Lightning Port Credit: Hadrian / Shutterstock
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Apple embraced the Lightning port for its iPhone years ago. Even though the company adopted the USB-C port for its MacBooks and iPads, the Cupertino company is reluctant to give it up on the iPhone. New legislation in the European Union may force Apple’s hand and require it to adopt USB-C across its iPhone lineup.

European Union lawmakers finally agreed to adopt a common charger standard for electronics, reports Business Insider. This legislation requires all smartphones with wired charging to use a USB-C port by fall 2024.

According to a press release from the European Parliament, this rule is “part of a broader EU effort to make products in the EU more sustainable, to reduce electronic waste, and make consumers’ lives easier.”

This new mandate will affect Apple’s iPhone models, which account for 23 percent of the smartphone share in the region.

Apple disapproved of this change and spoke out against this mandate before this rule was enacted. Even though it was against it, Apple may be preparing a contingency plan. Apple may be testing an iPhone with a USB-C port. If USB-C charging fails to meet Apple’s expectations, we highly doubt the phone maker will walk away from the EU market.

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Apple likely has another trick up its sleeve. Apple may prefer to avoid this mandate instead of begrudgingly adopting it. How can Apple avoid it? By eradicating the charging port rather than adopting USB-C. In place of a charging port, future iPhone models could ditch the cable entirely and only charge wirelessly.

This isn’t too far-reaching of an idea. Apple added MagSafe wireless charging to its iPhone lineup, starting with the iPhone 12. The technology was embraced far and wide by both consumers and accessory makers. Now iPhone owners can choose between a slew of accessories that allow them to charge their iPhone without touching a cable. Will that be the future for those in the EU? Only time will tell.

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