Apple is moving the iPhone to USB-C

A new EU ruling will force Apple to switch its iPhones from the proprietary Lightning plug to USB-C.

By David Flynn, November 8 2022
Apple is moving the iPhone to USB-C

Life will soon become a lot easier for technology-toting travellers, with just a single cable to pack for charging all your devices – yes, even including Apple’s iPhones.

An Apple executive has confirmed the company will fall in line with a new European law to make USB-C the standard socket and connector for battery charging by the end of 2024.

“Obviously, we’ll have to comply,” Apple’s senior VP of worldwide marketing, Greg Joswiak, told The Wall Street Journal. “We have no choice.”

That means an end to the Apple-designed Lightning connector, launched in 2012 to replace the original 30-pin dock connector of the early iPhones and iPads.

However, Joswiak declined to say if the USB-C iPhone would be exclusively for Europe – an expensive move – or if Apple would adopt USB-C for all iPhones sold worldwide.

Apple is already reported to be testing a USB-C version of the ‌iPhone, which could make its debut in next year’s iPhone 15 – but it will certainly need to be in place for the iPhone 16 series of 2024, as the EU directive requires that as of January 1, 2025 all mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, cameras, portable speakers, headphones and earbuds sold within the EU will have to include a USB-C charging port.

As previously reported, Apple is also moving towards an iPhone without physical SIM card slots, replacing that with dual eSIM modules.

In addition, all laptops sold within the EU by mid-2026 will also need to be powered through USB-C.

The new rules will also specify all devices which support fast charging will have the same charging speed when connected with any compatible charger, while also moving towards standardised wireless charging rather than brand-specific technology.

“This future-proof law allows for the development of innovative charging solutions in the future, and it will benefit everyone –  from frustrated consumers to our vulnerable environment,” said European Parliament spokesman Alex Agius Saliba, who added that consumers were tired of “multiple chargers piling up within their homes.”

“Now they will be able to go with a single charger for all portable electronics, which is an important step to increase consumer convenience.”

The EU rules also give consumers the right to choose whether to buy new devices with or without a charger, given that a single USB-C adaptor could be used by every device.

“One in every three chargers that is bundled with these products is never opened from its original packaging,” Saliba claimed.

EU industry chief Thierry Breton predicts the ruling would save around €250 million for consumers.

“It will also allow new technologies such as wireless charging to emerge and to mature without letting innovation become a source of market fragmentation and consumer inconvenience,” he added, as the EU will also have the power to harmonise next-gen wireless charging systems.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 348

Bad bad move Ive had USB C charging on  Lenovo Laptop wear out and burn out less than a year after purchase, and they wear out on mobile phones as well.  Clearly electronic goods are not made to last more than a year and longer, so who cares what charging  socket type is used?

SCM
SCM

28 Sep 2022

Total posts 3

I had a samsung S8 for 4 years, charging exclusively by USB-C, and it was good as new after 4 years with zero problems.

I washed it under the tap every week as well.

05 Jan 2018

Total posts 53

they should have made magsafe compulsory

03 Jun 2019

Total posts 26

Too bad Apple filed for a patent unless there is a workaround.

Best move ever I say, take heed Apple iPhone, you want to make phones with all these so called A15/A16 Bionic chips with a pathetic slow lighting port running at USB 2 speeds is really a joke. Us Android users have been on USB C for over 3 years now. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Aug 2017

Total posts 76

I have two questions:

1. What will happen when a technology that's better than USB-C inevitably comes along (smaller port, more durable, more features, etc)? Will this law make it illegal to install that better technology in phones, thus slowing or preventing technological progress?

2. Is USB-C waterproof? I ask because my Apple iPhone which uses Lightning is currently waterproof.

03 Jun 2019

Total posts 26

1 USC C will gradually phased out if there is a better solution, as long as that solution is not proprietary. The biggest problem of USB-C port is that it is not very durable due to its design, compared with Apple's Lightning port.

2 It can be. A number of waterproof Android phones have water detection features, if the sensor embedded in the phone's USB C port detects a certain level of humidity, the phone will refuse to charge itself.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 607

Her ! Here !   Well said.  Why . . . I might even buy my first iPhone once they convert to USB-C.  

17 Apr 2020

Total posts 2

Locking in USB-C is stupid by the EU, the market should determine this.  As Sibelius asks, what will happen when (as it always does) a better USB solution comes out in future ... the EU has just locked them out.

Apple will appeal (or cop any fines...) or at least do its best to slow the adoption down... they will then release the rumoured products without any ports at all.. only wireless charging. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Sep 2013

Total posts 188

I thought thay did that quite a number of years ago.   Perhaps the manufacturers jacked up about it then?

03 Aug 2022

Total posts 1

Check now - some Apple products sold in Oz are already USB-C

Yes only ipad and their Macbooks that's it, not iphone 

05 May 2016

Total posts 630

They need to mandate physical SIM in phones too. Not much good having a USB-C iPhone for travelling that can’t have a physical SIM card installed.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 867

I'm waiting to be able to have 4 eSims working at the same tie rather than only 2. 2 active 2 switched off.

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 152

Before too long physical sim cards will have gone the way of Betamax and MS-DOS.

03 Jun 2019

Total posts 26

The essence is that Apple's port is proprietary, and Apple gets royalties from licensing. On the other hand, USB-C is an open standard, so it DOES make sense that regulators want to unify charging ports.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Mar 2012

Total posts 215

Finally! Make it much easier for households that have multiple device types - one cable to rule them all :)


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