The EU is planning a huge change in the way we all charge our smartphones, and it could be costly for Apple and millions of owners of its popular iPhone. The European Commission wants all tech companies to adopt the generic USB-C port on their devices to reduce e-waste. The idea basically means that one cable can fill up your phone, tablet, portable console, laptop, and smart speakers instead of having a box full of different adapters and cables.
Most Android devices and products like the Nintendo Switch have already switched to USB-C, but Apple remains committed to its Lightning port, which only applies to the iPhone and some models of the iPad. If the rules are enforced, it would mean that future iPhones would stop using this technology, leaving millions with Lightning cables that would be completely useless.
It is believed that after a vote, companies will have two years to change the ports on their devices. Apple already uses USB-C on some of its products, including the new iPad mini, iPad Pro, and MacBooks. However, the iPhone has never moved away from its Lightning port, which was first introduced in 2012, and Apple wants it to stay that way.
In a statement to the BBC, the US firm said: “We remain concerned that strict regulation that only requires one type of connector is stifling innovation rather than promoting it, which in turn affects consumers in Europe and around the world will harm. “
Two years is a long time in the tech world, and Apple may remove the charging port entirely.
There have been rumors that the US company is considering going completely wireless in the future.
The latest iPhones now all have a unique MagSafe connector that snaps into place on the case to charge the battery, and this could become the standard for all of its smartphones in the future.
Of course, it makes sense to have a single cable for each device, but a concern for iPhone users will be all of the Lightning-compatible accessories they own, such as moving to USB-C.
The EC hopes to push through the changes next year so that the end of the lightning bolt could come as early as 2024.
In a post on Twitter, the European Commission said: “Are your chargers stacked in a drawer? We propose a common charger for cell phones and other similar electronic devices. A single charger will be more convenient for people and reduce e-waste. “
And in a statement Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager added: “We gave the industry a lot of time to develop their own solutions, now the time is ripe for legislative measures for a common charger. This is an important asset for our consumers and the environment and is in line with our green and digital ambitions. ”