Europe, the land that birthed both the Parthenon and astronomically rude French waiters, has dealt a huge blow to the tech-giant Apple. The European Union Bloc is now requiring all smartphones have USB-C charging ports by 2024.
According to The Guardian, Apple are likely to be frustrated with this move, as its iPhones don’t currently have USB-C charging ports.
This ruling obviously just applies to EU countries and not other places, such as Australia, however Apple, if they want to continue selling in the EU, will have to modify their products accordingly and this is likely to have knock-on effects for the rest of the world.
A spokesperson for the European parliament, Alex Agius Saliba, declared; “Today we have made the common charger a reality in Europe.”
“European consumers were long frustrated with multiple chargers piling up with every new device. Now they will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics,” he added.
As per CableWholesale, Apple has released four different chargers for its iPods, iPhones, and iPads over the years. Rocket Yard has additionally detailed that MacBooks, MacBook Airs, and MacBook Pros have used three different types of chargers since 2006.
But it’s not just iPhone chargers that will be impacted by this change. Saliba stated, “We are proud that laptops, e-readers, earbuds, keyboards, computer mice and portable navigation devices are also included, in addition to smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld video game consoles and portable speakers.”
So what does this mean for us in Australia? Dr. Michael Cowling, a technology educator at the Central Queensland University, told the ABC; “It’s the end of life for Lightning.” This is because it will “be cheaper to do USB-C everywhere.”
Cowling argued that this move would be better for consumers. And not just because it’ll mean they can cull their cupboards of miscellaneous cables. He said; “A lot of iPhone repairers would tell you that gummed-up ports is the biggest failure rate other than cracked screens.” He then explained; “USB-C can get cleaned out pretty easily.”
However, it’s worth noting that Cowling is just making an educated guess, so don’t get rid of your chargers just yet. Apple could go rogue and continue making non-EU countries use its lightning ports. At the moment, there’s nothing stopping them from doing so. We’ll definitely let you know if this situation changes.