That’s because the European Parliament has provisionally agreed on a proposal that would require tech companies to include USB-C charging ports on all “small and medium-sized portable electronic devices.” The list of devices that must comply with this law includes:
The EU press release noted that there will be a summer recess before the formal vote to enshrine the new requirement into law, so it’s not a fully done deal yet. But assuming it goes through without any problems, smartphone makers will have to comply within 24 months after ratification, with laptop makers getting a 40-month compliance period instead. In other words, iPhones will likely have USB-C ports on them by the end of 2024.
Obviously, the requirement that phones use USB-C could potentially create headaches for Apple, which has used its proprietary Lightning standard for years. But this is a big company that is fully aware of changing tides in the tech world. As such, Apple is reportedly already testing USB-C iPhones that could make it to market as early as 2023. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also said other Lightning products like AirPods and MagSafe chargers would also make the switch to USB-C at some point.
This change will be almost universally positive on the consumer end. USB-C is capable of much faster charging than Lightning, and forcing every small and medium-sized device to use it would mean that you wouldn’t need to keep track of several chargers in your home. The downside for Apple is that it can no longer charge third-party device makers a fee to use Lightning, but regular people don’t care about that.
Just think about it this way: Unless Apple decides to manufacture different iPhones just for Europe, you’ll never have to keep a Lightning cable around again.
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