Apple claims it has “no choice” but to include USB-C in iPhones.

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In response to the new regulation requiring the port on phones and tablets, Apple has announced that it would replace the Lightning connector with USB-C in future iPhones sold in the European Union. “Obviously, we’ll have to comply; we have no option,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of international marketing, at a Wall Street Journal conference. The regulation, which was approved in October, requires manufacturers to include USB-C connections in all phones and tablets by the fall of 2024. The EU believes that this will save customers up to €250 million (about £215 million) each year on “unnecessary charger purchases” and avoid 11,000 tonnes of garbage per year.

Apple opposes the regulation, claiming that it would “stifle innovation” and result in a “unprecedented volume of electronic trash” because iPhone owners will discard unused Lightning cords. Joswiak declined to comment on whether Apple will incorporate USB-C ports on phones sold outside the EU. In July, a UK Government spokeswoman stated that the UK will not follow EU laws, implying that the Lightning port will continue to operate in England, Scotland, and Wales. However, under the provisions of the Brexit agreement, which maintains the nation in the single market for goods, it would be prohibited in Northern Ireland.

However, given the costs and difficulties involved, it is doubtful that Apple will produce two versions of the iPhone – one with USB-C inside the EU and one without. Several iPad models already include USB-C ports.

The law also applies to cameras, earbuds, and ebook readers, and it will be expanded to include laptop computers in 2026.

The change will have a significant impact on Apple, as most Android phones released today feature Type-C chargers. The new law has compelled Apple to abandon its Lightning port chargers in favour of Type-C chargers, as have many of its competitors. Apple’s iPads and laptops presently utilise Type-C chargers. The most recent iPhones also allow wireless charging, which Apple is anticipated to eliminate completely in the near future.

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