Apple has confirmed for the first time that, yep, it will be bringing out an iPhone with a USB-C port to comply with new European Union laws.
The law states that, by the end of 2024, all mobile phones, tablets and cameras sold in the EU will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C charging port. By creating a single charging standard for mobile devices, the EU hopes to cut down on electronic waste and eliminate cable clutter.
Up until now, Apple, which now uses a Lightning port instead of a USB-C port for its iPhones and has since 2021, had yet to comment on the law.
“Obviously we’ll have to comply, we have no choice,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, when he was asked about the charging situation at a conference this week.
Joswiak didn’t say whether iPhones and other Apple products outside of the EU would also have the USB-C port, simply that “the Europeans are the ones dictating timing for European customers”.
“We think the approach would’ve been better environmentally, and better for our customers to not have a government be that prescriptive,” Joswiak said.
The iPhone is currently the only major smartphone to not use a USB-C port. Apple is one of the top smartphone providers in Europe, with about 23% of the smartphone market share there.
Tech industry trend analyst Ming-Chi Kuo made the prediction about the charging cable change back in May 2022.
My latest survey indicates that 2H23 new iPhone will abandon Lightning port and switch to USB-C port. USB-C could improve iPhone’s transfer and charging speed in hardware designs, but the final spec details still depend on iOS support.
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) May 11, 2022
In June, it was reported that European Union officials had finalised an agreement that required Apple and other smartphone makers to make products supporting USB-C by as early as September 2024.