Will Apple’s Newest iPhone Feature A USB-C Charge Point?

Apple, the tech company known for its Lightning connector, is set to make a significant shift in its charging strategy. The latest iPhone, expected to be unveiled on September 12, is rumoured to feature a USB-C charge point.

This move comes in response to a European Union law mandating a common charging connection across devices by December 2024.


The Lightning Legacy


For years, Apple has championed its Lightning adapter, setting it apart from competitors like Samsung, which adopted the industry-standard USB-C connector. The Lightning connector has been a staple of Apple’s mobile devices since its introduction. However, a significant shift is on the horizon, prompted by the European Union’s commitment to reducing electronic waste and consumer costs.

The European Union has taken a stance to address the creation of electronic waste and the inconvenience faced by consumers due to a number of charging connectors. As per an EU law, manufacturers of various portable electronics must transition to a common charging connection by December 2024. This move is expected to not only streamline the consumer experience but also reduce electronic waste and unnecessary charger purchases.



Source: BBC


Apple’s Resistance and Change of Heart


Initially, Apple contested the EU regulation, saying that a single connector could stifle innovation. The company voiced concerns about potential harm to consumers in Europe and worldwide. Nevertheless, it seems that Apple has had a change of heart, aligning its products with the upcoming EU mandate. The majority of recent Apple products, including iPads, have already adopted USB-C connectors, signalling a gradual shift towards a standardised approach.



The End of the Lightning Cable Era?


With the impending transition, it appears that the iconic Lightning cable, which retails for £19 on the Apple Store, may be nearing its end. The iPhone 14 is poised to be the last Apple device exclusively featuring the Lightning connector, potentially making way for the USB-C standard.

While the shift towards USB-C charging is close, it remains uncertain whether Apple will adopt this change globally or create separate versions for the European market. Apple’s decisions will undoubtedly have implications for its global user base.


EU’s Broad Charger Rule Scope


The EU’s common-charger rule encompasses a wide range of “small and medium-sized portable electronics,” such as mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, mice and keyboards, GPS devices, headphones, digital cameras, handheld videogame consoles, and portable speakers. This ensures that all these devices, regardless of the manufacturer, must feature a USB Type-C port for wired charging.

While the EU regulation extends to laptops, manufacturers are granted a longer timeline to implement the changes. This delay acknowledges the complexities involved in transitioning laptops to USB-C connectors.


Consumer and Environmental Benefits


The EU’s commitment to a common charger is expected to generate substantial benefits for consumers. It is projected to save consumers up to €250 million (£213 million) annually on unnecessary charger purchases while simultaneously reducing electronic waste by a staggering 11,000 tonnes per year.

In conclusion, Apple’s anticipated adoption of the USB-C charging standard marks a pivotal moment in the company’s history. As the tech giant aligns itself with EU regulations, consumers can anticipate a more streamlined and eco-friendly charging experience. The unveiling of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro next week promises to shed further light on Apple’s commitment to this transformative change in its charging strategy.