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Apple concedes to EU law, iPhones will get USB-C ports

Apple will "have to comply" with the new rule, the company's Marketing Chief said at a conference.

Published onOctober 26, 2022

  • Apple’s Marketing Chief has said that the company would have to comply with the European Union’s USB-C law.
  • Bloomberg reports that Apple will switch from Lightning to USB-C ports on iPhones next year.

Apple will “have to comply” with the European Union’s mandate for all smartphones to switch to USB-C charging. That’s what the iPhone maker’s Marketing Chief Greg Joswiak reportedly said on Tuesday.

The statement indirectly confirms that iPhones will indeed ditch Apple’s proprietary Lightning port for a USB-C connector in the future. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that the change could happen as soon as next year, which would mean that the iPhone 15 could be the first Apple smartphone to support USB-C charging. Meanwhile, the EU mandate only comes into effect in 2024.

Speaking at a Wall Street Journal conference in California, Joswiak commented that Apple will follow the EU law as it does with any other laws. He said the company has been at odds with the European Union for decades over the charger issue, recalling how EU authorities previously wanted Apple to adopt micro-USB ports. He claimed that neither Lightning nor USB-C would have been invented if the company had made that switch.

The iPhone getting the universal port is a big deal. A big chunk of Apple’s revenue comes from selling accessories, including lightning cables and adapters. The proprietary port also separates Apple’s phones from Android phones, keeping customers locked inside its infamous walled garden.

In a recent statement, the company also argued that switching to USB-C would result in more waste than sticking with Lightning because customers would have to overhaul their Lightning-charged devices. That said, we didn’t hear Apple users complain when the company moved its Macs and iPads to USB-C.

It’s unclear if Apple will adopt USB-C ports on iPhones in every market or if it will restrict USB-C models to Europe. The latter would be unwise, given more countries are now considering enforcing the universal standard.