The EU may soon make USB-C (USB Type-C) the standard port for all smartphones and tablets, meaning iPhone users will find their Lightning cables no longer working. It’s a controversial move but could eliminate tons of e-waste each year.
The EU has long urged tech giants to use the same chargers for smartphones and other devices. After years of lobbying, last September, the EU finally published proposals to ensure the tech giants adopt a universal charging solution for mobile phones and electronic devices. other small and medium to minimize waste.
Those proposals have received even more support recently, with the European Parliament’s Committee on Consumer Protection and Internal Market voting in favor of the measures.
A vote of 43 members of the European Parliament (MEP) backs the rules outlined in the Radio Equipment Directive, which will ensure consumers won’t need to buy a new charger or cable every time they buy a new charger or cable. buy a new device.
New proposals are also outlined, including a strategy for the minimum interoperability of any new charging solutions by 2026.
The EU plans will significantly affect Apple, whose iPhones have used proprietary Lightning cables and ports since the iPhone 4. Most new Android devices today use USB-C ports as standard and The EU wants Apple to follow suit.
Speaking of how this will benefit consumers, the EU said: “The new regulations will ensure consumers no longer need a new charger and cable every time they buy a new device. , can use one charger for all their small and medium electronic devices.
Mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headsets and headsets, portable game consoles and portable speakers, which can be recharged via a wired cable, shall be equipped with a USB Type-C port. C, regardless of manufacturer. The exemptions only apply to devices that are too small to have a USB Type-C port, such as smartwatches, fitness trackers, and some sports devices.”
The traditional Lightning charging port in Apple’s iPhone products.
The EU has scheduled another vote on these measures for May 2022, after which MEPs begin negotiations with governments on the final form of the law.
Speaking about the vote, MEP’s Alex Agius Saliba said: “With half a billion chargers for mobile devices shipped in Europe each year and generating 11,000 – 13,000 tonnes of e-waste, one charger unique to mobile phones and other small and medium electronic devices will benefit everyone, it will help the environment, furthermore, it will help to reuse old electronics, save money money, reducing unnecessary costs and inconvenience for both businesses and consumers.”
Last year, when the EU published proposals to force all phone makers to use USB-C, Apple said that would have a big impact on innovation.
The US tech giant stated: “We remain concerned that strict regulation of only one type of gateway will hinder innovation rather than encourage it, thereby harming consumers in the US. Europe and around the world”.
Since the iPad switched from Lightning to USB-C in October 2018, there have been many rumors that the iPhone will follow this. However, the Lightning port is still applied in the new iPhone lines.
By 2022, the number of devices using Apple’s Lightning port will gradually decrease. Aside from accessories and headphones, Magic Mouse, Trackpad, and AirPods, only 9th-generation iPhones and iPads use the Lightning port for charging.
There are 3 main reasons why Apple “insisted” on keeping the Lightning charging port on the iPhone. Firstly, “Apple Defect” does not want to make a big change that affects customers. Second, the Lightning port is capable of fully meeting the power needs of the iPhone, without the need to switch to a USB-C port. Third, with the MFi exclusive and genuine Lightning accessory certification, Apple earns significant revenue and helps it easily control and tighten management in the market.