Apple has been given an official deadline to replace the Lightning charging port on the new iPhones with USB-C.
company Reluctantly confirms it will comply with EU directiveswhich will require all smartphones, tablets, cameras and other small devices to adopt the same standard.
While the group says the move will reduce e-waste and benefit consumers, apple Think this stifles innovation.
The tech giant’s phones feature a proprietary Lightning port, and only select models of the iPad feature the USB-C jack favored by Android phones and many other devices, including game consoles and headsets.
A previous attempt to introduce universal charging ports across the EU failed in 2018, but a tentative agreement reached earlier this year and is European Parliament voted in October.
The European Commission has now published official rules on USB-C, setting a nearly two-year deadline for all portable devices, December 28, 2024.
Laptops have a longer period to get up to speed, with an enforced date of April 28, 2026, while fully wirelessly charging devices like the Apple Watch are exempt.
What does the EU directive say?
In documents published this week, the EU said it was committed to improving “interoperability” between devices.
In practice, this means that people don’t have to worry about reaching for the mess of various cables at the bottom of their bag or behind a drawer when they want to charge something.
The document says the move will also “reduce unnecessary waste and cost,” something Apple claims it has been working to do in recent years by completely removing the built-in charging adapter from new iPhones.
Apple executive Greg Joswiak claimed that “it would be better for the environment and customers if the government were less regulated”.
When will we see our first USB-C iPhones?
If Apple sticks to its usual annual naming pattern, USB-C will appear on the iPhone 16 at the latest.
The company typically rolls out its annual smartphone update in September.
But reports suggest the shift could come sooner, possibly in time for next year’s presumptive iPhone 15.
Other products from the company, such as AirPods cases and Mac mice, will also have to change.