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Apple Will Officially Put USB-C on the iPhone

Apple fans are familiar with the inconvenience of having to use two different ports with their slew of products for the sake of the Apple ecosystem, but that may change soon. During an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Apple senior VP of marketing Greg Joswiak confirmed that the tech giant will soon have no choice but to finally equip iPhones with USB-C, thanks to the European Union.

Last year, the European Commission proposed to mandate that all consumer electronics use USB-C as a universal connector and just earlier this month, it was officially voted into law by the EU. When asked whether or not the Cupertino company would comply, Joswiak said, “Obviously, we’ll have to comply; we have no choice.”

He did not state exactly when customers will see USB-C on iPhones, but all new mobile phones in the EU will be required to use the universal charging port by late 2024 — this is just enough for Apple to use Lightning one last time on the iPhone 15 before finally conceding with the 16. Joswiak also refused to say whether or not iPhones sold outside of Europe will make the switch.

european union USB C common connector
Credit: European Commission

The legislation is still waiting to be approved by the EU council and printed in the EU Official Journal, but once it does, there will be a grace period of 24 months before it fully enforces the "common charger" mandate for about 15 categories of small and medium-sized portable electronic devices, including smartphones and tablets.

This means that all brands, even Apple, will eventually have to switch the port on their devices to USB-C if they want to sell products in Europe. As for laptops, these will also have to comply with the new rule but will be given 40 months to adopt it, going into effect in the spring of 2026.

Apple's stance on the matter, as iterated by Joswiak, is that the move will create a lot of e-waste as people will have to get rid of their Lightning cables. On the other hand, the EU estimates that this legislation will save consumers 250 million Euros every year by reducing the need to purchase more chargers and will save around 11,000 tonnes of e-waste annually.

  • Apple confirms that the iPhone will eventually replace the Lightning connector with USB-C.

  • A new EU law will require all smartphones to use USB-C as a common charger by late 2024.

  • It's still unclear whether or not iPhones sold outside of Europe will also switch ports.

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