Apple could soon be FORCED to change iPhone charging cables: EU rules to make all smartphones have USB-C ports from as early as 2022 in a bid to reduce waste
- European lawmakers have been trying to set a standard for more than a decade
- Apple — which uses its proprietary lightning cable — has long resisted this move
- If passed, the new rules would give phone makers two years to switch to USB-C
- Officials want to lower the 11,000 tons of e-waste thrown out in Europe each year
Apple may soon be forced to mothball its proprietary lightning connector as the EU unveiled plans to force all new smartphones to use USB-C as standard from 2022.
The planned change, announced today, would not affect the majority of device manufacturers, as many have already adopted the fast-charging connector design.
If delivered, the move would achieve a goal the European bloc has been working on for more than a decade — with Apple the primary holdout against a unified standard.
Since 2012, iPhones have come with the company’s own Lightning port and connecting cables — which replaced the previous 30-pin connector.
However, the newest models have been shipping with a lightning-to-USB-C adapter cable which allows the iPhone to be connected to a USB-C socket if needed.
The push by the EU will certainly be cheered by the millions of people who have searched through a drawer full of cables for the right charger.
However, officials reportedly also want to cut down on the 11,000 metric tons of electronic waste thrown out every year by Europeans.
Apple has long countered this argument with the suggestion that forcing users away from the lightning cable would instead create an ‘unprecedented volume’ of waste.
Apple may soon be forced to mothball its proprietary lightning connector (right) as the EU unveiled plans to force all new smartphones to use USB-C (left) as standard from 2022
APPLE VS USB-C
It is estimated that some 420 million mobile phones and other portable electronic devices were sold in the European Union last year.
According to the European Commission, the average person living in the union owns at least three chargers — and makes use of two on a regular basis.
However, 38 per cent of people have reported not being able to charge their phones at least once because they could not find a compatible charger.
‘Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices,’ said EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton.
‘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,’ he concluded.
‘European consumers were frustrated long enough about incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers,’ added the European Commission’s executive vice-president for ‘Europe Fit for the Digital Age’, Margrethe Vestager.
‘We gave industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now time is ripe for legislative action for a common charger.
‘This is an important win for our consumers and environment and in line with our green and digital ambitions,’ she added.
European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton speaks during a media conference on a common charging solution for mobile phones at EU headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. The European Union unveiled plans Thursday that would require smartphone makers to adopt a single charging method for mobile devices
Under the proposed law, phones, tablets, digital cameras, handheld video game consoles, headsets and headphones sold in the European Union would all have to come with USB-C charging ports.
However, the legislation must still be scrutinised by the European Parliament before it is passed into action.
After attempting for more than a decade to cajole the industry into adopting a common standard, the EU’s executive commission is pushing the issue.
APPLE HAS RELEASED iOS 15
Apple released its latest major smartphone operating system update — iOS 15, — earlier this week, complete with a generous array of tweaks to Maps, Safari, FaceTime and more.
The new update, which was revealed back in June, includes the ability to FaceTime with Androids and a new Live Text tool that can recognise handwriting from photos.
Notifications also have a new look, including contact photos and larger app icons to make them easier to identify.
iOS 15 includes the ability to FaceTime with Androids, a new Live Text tool that can recognise handwriting from photos and a redesigned Safari experience
Monday’s release of iOS 15, as well as iPadOS 15 and WatchOS 8 for tablets and smartwatches, comes ahead of the release of iPhone 13 tomorrow.
Apple’s latest flagship phone was revealed by the tech giant last week.
Rather than being restricted to the new device, iOS 15 runs on all Apple phones from 2015’s iPhone 6S and newer.
iPhone users can install the update by heading to the Settings app on their device, before tapping on General and then Software Update.
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