“We have no choice,” says Apple.
Switching Over to USB-C Chargers
The upcoming iPhone devices will have USB-C chargers. The company decided to switch after EU lawmakers voted to implement a common charging standard starting in 2024.
The lawmakers gave their final approval to the new rules that all smartphones, headphones, cameras, and other portable devices will have USB Type-C charging ports by 2024.
Every laptop sold in the bloc must also comply with the rule by 2026. This may help cut down on electronic waste. It also guarantees people they will only have to carry a single charger for all their devices.
Currently, most Android devices are using USB-C chargers. Although Apple’s MacBooks have proprietary Magsafe chargers, they support USB-C charging.
When It Will Happen?
Apple didn’t provide a timeline for when its iPhone devices will support USB-C. The EU law will be effective in late 2024. But this report stated that the USB-C charger was a lock for iPhone 5, which will be available next year.
All of Apple’s tablets support USB-C charging. But AirPods still need a lighting charger. And to support USB-C, they have to undergo a massive redesign.
The transition already started even before the EU law has been finalized.
If Apple will switch to USB-C next year, then the changes will also appear for iPhones globally.
Analysts said that it would make sense for the company to move to the common charger globally, instead of making individual parts. However, if Apple thinks that they are making money off of those chargers, then it is worth it for Apple to maintain them separately.
The change would bring the company’s charging ports in line with competitors. Samsung, for instance, is already using USB-C.
The said EU law is 10 years in the making. It only got a final stamp of approval this year.
Even though Apple will comply with the EU law, the switch is only a stop-gap measure. Apple is rumored to fully embrace wireless charging on its devices. In that case, it will create a portless iPhone.
But the EU also noted that it is working on requirements for wireless charging by 2024. This will be met with less resistance because most devices now support wireless charging. And yes, including iPhones. They are all compatible with Qi charging standards.
Before, Apple argued that moving to USB-C would be more wasteful. The reason for this is that customers would need to overhaul their Lightning-charged devices.
A lightning port was introduced in 2012 to replace a 30-pin connector. It caused an uproar because a range of docks and accessories that relied on the said connector type became incompatible with the new iPhones.
But Apple has already offered USB-C ports on its iPads and some MacBooks.
If Apple switches to USB-C entirely, it would be fine without the revenue coming from the Lightning cable. There is still a lot of proprietary Appel chargers to license, including MagSafe and AirPlay.