Apple may be forced to ditch the Lightning port in iPhones and adopt the USB Type-C port like Android phones. The European Commission has made it mandatory for smartphone brands and other electronic manufacturers to launch products with a common charging port and they have selected USB Type-C port for the same. For Android smartphone brands, this may not be a problem at all as almost all new Android phones come with USB Type-C ports. But for Apple it may be a new problem as iPhones are the only smartphones that come with the unique Lightning connector. For other Apple devices like MacBook and iPads, Apple has already migrated to USB Type-C.
“The charging port and fast charging technology will be harmonised: USB-C will become the standard port for all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld video game consoles. In addition, the Commission proposes to unbundle the sale of chargers from the sale of electronic devices,” as per the European Commission.
The new rules by the European Union are aimed to reduce electronic waste and will encourage smartphone users to reuse chargers.
“Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that. With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics – an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste,” said Commissioner Thierry Breton.
Now, it would be interesting to see how Apple responds. It may either make iPhone models with USB Type-C exclusively for the European market or may simply ditch the Lightning port altogether and just adopt Type-C port. For the record, in France, Apple is still forced to provide free earphones with iPhones as the local law mandates it.
The European Commission is also “harmonising” fast charging technology to prevent different producers from unjustifiably limit the charging speed. “It will help to ensure that charging speed is the same when using any compatible charger for a device,” it added