Why iPhone USB-C Can Come Global

Your next iPhone will likely need a different charging cable

The European Union has issued its verdict: If Apple wants to sell new products Iphone In the area, these devices will need Have a USB-C port before the end of 2024.

That means Apple’s Lightning connector, which has been around for more than a decade and has established itself as a big moneymaker for the tech giant, will need to be phased out from future iPhones. At least those who go to the European Union.

“We have no choice – as we do all over the world, [Apple will] Compliance with local laws,” Greg JoswiakSenior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Apple, at The Wall Street Journal tech conference On October 25, when asked if Apple would comply with the EU’s general law on fees.

“We think it would have been better from an environmental point of view for our clients not to have a government with that much direction.”

While the legislation technically applies only to consumer electronics sold within the European Union, Apple may have to decide on the fate of the Lightning port for iPhones headed overseas. Most commercial phones charge and connect to accessories using the USB-C standard, but iPhones don’t. Could this mean that future iPhones sold outside the EU will also move to a USB-C charging port? Or will Apple make hardware changes by geography: producing two different iPhones to accommodate USB-C and Lightning — one for the European Union and one for the rest of the world?

Apple is already modding iPhone models regionally, as it did with the iPhone 14. Only the US version has Electronic SIM cardOther variants retain the SIM slot, notes Avi Greengart, an analyst at Techsponential. But he also thinks Apple has good reasons to move all iPhones to USB-C going forward.

“…there are bigger considerations in the ecosystem, security, and accessories with the power/data connector, so I think Apple is more likely to port all the iPhones [globally] to USB-C in the iPhone 16 timeframe to comply with European regulations. “

A-usb-c wall charger surrounded iPhones

Most commercially available smartphones have a USB-C port, but the iPhone does not. Uses Apple’s own Lightning port connector.

Mexican

For more than a decade, European lawmakers have pushed electronic devices to include a standard charger in a bid to reduce cable clutter and electronic waste. Legislation, part of the rate Radio Equipment DirectivesIt was completed in June before the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of the rule in October. Its approval is widely seen as a victory for consumers, who will soon be able to use just one USB-C charger across a range of accessories and devices, including higher wattage devices like gaming laptops and 4K monitors. Its adoption was also seen as a win-win for the environment. Estimates by a European think tank The chargers put up to 13,000 tons of e-waste annually in the EU and are associated with life-cycle emissions associated with around 600 to 900 kilotons of CO2 equivalent.

Apple has lobbied hard against the idea of ​​a shared phone charger. The tech giant argues that such legislation could stifle innovation and exacerbate the e-waste problem because it is supposed to render the Lightning cable obsolete for perhaps a billion people worldwide. Apple, which collects fees from third-party companies that manufacture Made for iPhone Accessories You will likely lose profits from every Lightning cable and iPhone compatible accessory.

Despite the opposition of Apple, the tech giant has It said Put your USB-C iPhone to the test. Note Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo Expect Apple will beat the EU’s one-year mandate, supplying the new iPhone with a USB-C port in 2023.

“USB-C could improve iPhone transmission and charging speed in hardware designs, but final specification details are still dependent on iOS support,” Kuo wrote in May on Twitter.

For its part, Apple has been transitioning from Lightning in other products for several years now. The tech giant included USB-C in 2015 with that year MacBook. It later replaced Lightning with USB-C on the iPad Pro in 2018, iPad Air in 2020 and iPad Mini in 2021. In addition to including a USB-C port on the rumored 2023 iPhone, Kuo expects several other Apple accessories, including AirPods, Magic Keyboard and MagSafe Battery Pack, for switching to USB-C, but did not offer a specific timeline.

Read more: Will a USB-C iPhone make Apple’s Lightning cable obsolete? not yet

In the long run, the iPhone’s switch to USB-C is poised to benefit Apple customers — just as the legislation intended. Since most of the company’s iPads and Macs already use USB-C instead of Lightning, this move will simplify the charging experience. Apple loyalists currently need three different types of chargers to power their iPhone, MacBook, iPad, and Apple Watch. For a company that prides itself on its ecosystem, Apple offers a cumbersome charging experience that goes against the ethos of simplicity.

The Apple MagSafe battery pack is installed on the back of the iPhone 12 Pro

Apple has reintroduced its MagSafe charging technology with the iPhone 12 lineup. Here’s the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack that was snapped up on the iPhone 12 Pro.

Patrick Holland / CNET

“It makes sense that Apple would do it [switch to a USB-C iPhone] across markets, as it will not only enhance the experience of users, who also use iPads or Macs, but it will also simplify operations in the supply chain,” Will Wong, research director at International Data Corporation, told CNET.

Read more: Apple’s dream for iPhones can actually be a nightmare

Even if Apple eventually makes the switch to USB-C iPhone for all models, the connector will likely only be used for a short time. Rumors point to Apple Ditch the ports on the iPhone altogetherand switching all over to wireless charging and connectivity as with Apple’s MagSafe accessories.

“Portless was probably one of the developments Apple was looking at when we saw the introduction of the MagSafe wireless charger,” Wong said. “However, there Obstacles such as slow charging speed to get over it before fully setting off,”

However, the iPhone USB-C is likely to hit stores around the world more than ever. It’s something that’s been on Apple fan lists for years as the USB-C port is more convenient and transfers data more efficiently than its Lightning counterpart. Whether that happens in 2023, 2024 or later remains to be seen, but Apple is preparing itself and its iPhones for the transition in the European Union, to say the least.


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