iPhone with USB-C. Why does Apple need to abandon Lightning?
On 4 October 2022, the European Parliament adopted a new law requiring all smartphones, tablets and cameras sold in the European Union to be equipped with a USB-C port. On 24 October, the Council of the European Union finally approved the Universal Charger Directive. Manufacturers have just over two years to comply – until the end of 2024. In this way, the EU wants to allow customers to decide which device to choose – with or without a charger – and as a result also reduce the amount of electro-waste.
If Apple wants to sell its devices in the EU after 2024, it must comply with EU law. As a result, we will have to say goodbye to the Lightning connector, which made its debut in September 2012 with the iPhone 5. At the time, it was regarded as quite innovative, mainly due to its compact size and symmetrical design. USB-C did not see the light of day until two years later and, as it developed, it surpassed the capabilities of Apple’s Lightning.
Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of global marketing, confirmed that the company will have to comply with the new regulation, despite having some concerns about the charger regulations. Joswiak acknowledged in an interview with The Wall Street journalist Jorunal that the EU has good intentions, but the regulation is troublesome. In particular, he pointed out that EU lawmakers once tried to adopt the now obsolete micro-USB connector as a standard. This raises concerns about innovation and the creation of new and better charging and data transfer standards.
When is the iPhone with USB-C? Benefits of switching to the new standard
The iPhone with a USB-C port is likely to be available next year or, at the latest, in autumn 2024 with the launch of the iPhone 16, but analysts point to an earlier date, the iPhone 15. Creating an iPhone with USB-C should not be a problem for Apple – the vast majority of its devices are already equipped with this type of port. Even the entry-level iPad recently received a refresh, including a change to the charging socket. From 2026, the directive is expected to extend to laptops as well, but Apple already started introducing the new standard to its MacBooks in 2015.
The benefits of this change include not only fewer different cables in the house, but also faster charging and more efficient data transfer. Perhaps the ultra-fast charging that Android smartphones have become accustomed to will also come to iPhones with USB-C. And let’s not hide it – the question “Does anyone have an iPhone charger?” will finally stop being asked at friends’ house parties.