Apple has managed to keep up its exclusivity through a lot of things like its own iOS, App Store, Face ID and more. One of many things iPhones boast exclusivity is through the Lightning port, which challenges convenience more times than one can accept. As easy as it is finding a microUSB or USB Type-C charger, only iPhone users know how hard it is to borrow a Lightning charger in time of need. It looks like that struggle is about to end.
There have been rumours about Apple finally switching to USB Type-C connector in iPhone 12, which is expected to be launched later this year. But there's no way of knowing for sure until the iPhone-maker says so. Even if Apple is considering all of its options for its next iPhone's charging port, the European Parliament might corner the Cupertino-based tech titan into making a decision that favours the consumers and the environment.
EU meddling into Apple's decision-making
According to a report by PC Mag, members of the EU have urged the parliament to force every smartphone manufacturer to adopt a single charging method. The commission plans to take a "legislative approach" to the issue, which largely affects Apple's decision. The decision is to be made at a future session, but the date hasn't been finalised yet.
If the vote is in favour of a "common charger" for all new mobile phones, Apple would have no choice but to switch to USB Type-C charging port for its iPhones. Most brands, including Samsung, Huawei, OnePlus and others have already switched to Type-C connector, which is growing to be the norm for charging mobile devices.
"We cannot let the interests of private profits overrule the interests of the people and the planet. We need to seize that opportunity and come with a sustainable solution as fast as possible. We lost already much time," parliament member Petra De Sutter said, according to the report.
The EU highlighted some alarming facts about e-waste generated by old chargers. According to estimates, more than 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste is produced by old chargers every year. A common charger that fits all mobile devices, tablets, e-book readers and other portable devices could address this rising concern.
Apple is partially there
Apple couldn't resist the Type-C temptation and made the switch in some of its products. The new iPad Pro and MacBooks already have Type-C ports for charging and the latest iPhone 11 series has a USB Type-C connector, but only on the charging adaptor. The charger still connects to the iPhone via the Lightning port.
The switch from Lightning to Type-C is a huge one for Apple. The last time Apple did something similar was back in 2012 when it ditched the 30-pin dock connector in all models iPhone 5 onwards. The move did not sit well with Apple users as the old charging cables were turned useless. With the Type-C port, Apple would be rendering the old Lightning cables useless. But on a brighter note, Type-C cables are widely available.
Even if the EU imposes the common charger rule, Apple would be forced to bring Type-C iPhones to markets outside Europe to avoid creating different designs for non-EU countries. If Apple is already considering Type-C port for future iPhones, there's nothing to be worried about.