The iPhone is switching to USB-C, but it’s not happy about being forced to abandon its Lightning port

Reuters

  • Apple has confirmed that iPhones with USB-C charging ports are becoming compliant with EU laws.

  • But the company is apparently unhappy about having to make the switch and said it has no other choice.

  • Currently, the law states that all mobile phones and tablets must have a USB-C port by autumn 2024.

Apple has confirmed that an iPhone with a USB-C port will comply with a new European Union law, but it doesn’t seem very happy with that.

Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of global marketing, said the company will be “obviously” forced “to comply” with the EU standard during a conversation with journalist Joanna Stern at the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference.

“We have no choice,” Joswiak said in response to Stern’s question about when the USB-C iPhones will arrive. He did not say whether iPhones and other Apple products sold outside the EU will also have USB-C ports.

The law requires that “all mobile phones, tablets and cameras sold in the EU” must include a USB-C port by autumn 2024.

Joswiak said he “doesn’t care that governments tell us what they want to accomplish,” but that Apple has “pretty clever engineers” to figure out the technical ways of doing things.

One example, he said, was when the US government enacted a regulation for cell phones to meet hearing aid compatibility, which he said didn’t work.

“We came up with a new way to make hearing aids made for the iPhone, we made it an industry standard that really worked,” said Joswiak.

Apple and the EU have been “in discussion” for more than 10 years about the push for USB-C, Joswiak said, acknowledging he understands that the EU wants to “do a good thing” with e-waste reduction. However, he said Apple’s detachable charging cables with USB-compatible power adapters allow anyone to easily use the cable that works with their device.

“More than a billion people” use Apple chargers, Joswiak said, adding that having people throw away Lightning cables will create more electronic waste. The European Parliament said discarded and unused chargers make up around 11,000 tonnes of e-waste each year, adding that having the universal USB-C charger could save consumers up to € 250 million per year from not having to buy chargers. different.

“We think the approach would have been better from an environmental point of view and that it would have been better for our customers not to have such a prescriptive government,” said Joswiak.

Apple did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment prior to publication.

Apple is one of the leading smartphone suppliers in Europe, holding around 23% of the smartphone market share there. The Verge previously pointed out that Apple could make iPhones that charge wirelessly, which would provide a loophole to the USB-C requirement, but it looks like Apple is opting for a port, at least for now.

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