USB-C for iPhone. It has been talked about, requested, rumored, and someone even made their own and sold it for US$86,000. The iPhone has been using Apple’s proprietary Lightning port for a very long time, and some people and governments want to see USB-C for iPhone so that smartphones carry a standard charging method.
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Apple has been resistant to the suggestion, and we’ve written many stories over the years reporting that the European Union would force Apple’s hand. Apple shrugged off the EU’s efforts and has continued using Lightning on its iPhones. There was a glimmer of hope for the USB-C for iPhone when Apple replaced the Lightning port on its iPad Pro. But that quickly fell flat.
Now, the EU has agreed to make USB-C the standard smartphone charging port, and many are speculating that Apple will have to comply.
By autumn 2024, USB Type-C will become the common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets and cameras in the EU, Parliament and Council negotiators agreed today.
The provisional agreement on the amended Radio Equipment Directive, establishes a single charging solution for certain electronic devices. This law is a part of a broader EU effort to make products in the EU more sustainable, to reduce electronic waste, and make consumers’ lives easier.
Under the new rules, consumers will no longer need a different charging device and cable every time they purchase a new device, and can use one single charger for all of their small and medium-sized portable electronic devices. Mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, earbuds, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers that are rechargeable via a wired cable will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C port, regardless of their manufacturer. Laptops will also have to be adapted to the requirements by 40 months after the entry into force.
The charging speed is also harmonised for devices that support fast charging, allowing users to charge their devices at the same speed with any compatible charger.
According to 9to5Mac, some United States Senators are following the EU’s lead and are pushing for a standard charging method for smartphones here in the U.S. That means all eyes are on Apple and possibly making USB-C for iPhone.
We urge you to coordinate with offices and agencies across the Department of Commerce to develop a comprehensive plan that will protect both consumers and the environment by addressing the lack of a common U.S. charging standard. We cannot allow the consumer electronics industry to prioritize proprietary and inevitably obsolete charging technology over consumer protection and environmental health.
I honestly believe that most of this has been political theater from our political class. I think that Apple has planned on moving to USB-C for iPhone already. I think Apple is trying to figure out a new way to make up for the loss of licensing fees from Lightning before they implement USB-C for iPhone. They certainly can make it happen; they want to squeeze as much money from the Apple tax as possible. I expect we will see USB-C for iPhone on the iPhone 15.
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