The European Union will force Apple to use USB-C in its iPhones

The European Union will force Apple to use USB-C in its iPhones

This September 23, 2021, the European Commission will present a law to unify charging cables. That will give Apple two years to switch from Lightning to USB-C.

The iPhone 13 will be available in Apple Stores from September 24, but there has been some criticism regarding the few new features it has compared to its predecessor (or at least if you compare the standard versions). There’s hope for more features with the iPhone 14 coming in 2022.

However, an even more radical change could be on the way with the launch of the iPhone 15 in 2023, or at the very least in the European Union, which will require a uniform standard for charging cables.

Starting in 2023, Apple’s iPhone will have to adopt the universal charging standard, and this will not be the Lightning port created by Apple. Instead, the use of USB-C will be forced according to the new law.

Once the law comes into force, there will be a two-year transition period during which manufacturers will have to adapt their devices to the new standard. Apple is not the only manufacturer affected. In addition to Apple, which continues to use Lightning in the iPhone, other manufacturers will have to go from microUSB to USB-C.

Apple has already started moving to USB-C. Since 2018, USB-C has been the iPad Pro standard; since 2020, the iPad Air also uses the USB-C port; and in 2021, the new iPad mini has adopted such a connector.

Why will Apple have to stop using the Lightning port?

The European Union hopes that the new legislation (which includes smartphones, tabletscameras, headphones and game consoles) can save 980 tons of electronic waste per year.

According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, the 18 pages of the draft also requires not to sell mobile phones with a charger included. Apple already does. Since last year, the company only includes cables (currently USB-C to Lightning), but not the adapter. Thus, Apple already reduces its electronic waste and has also reduced the size of the packaging.

As for the charger, the European Union will allow two standards: USB-A and USB-C. Another law will ensure unification in this regard. Most chargers in use today only have a USB-A port.

For Apple, moving to USB-C will open up more opportunities: the standard brings more possibilities to connect peripherals such as storage and external monitors. The new law should not change the thickness of the iPhone 15 much.

If Apple has to make the change in the European Union, it will likely apply it globally.

As a result of this law, many Lightning chargers would become electronic waste, and so would compatible peripherals. Apple has been using this standard since 2011, as iPhones, iPods and iPads used the 30-pin connector until then.

Original article published in Macwelt.

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