Apple will release a USB-C iPhone thanks to a regulatory change, exec says

Is it the end of the road for the Lightning port?
Ameya Paleja
Connector USB charger type c
Connector USB charger type c

Agus Subianto/iStock 

Apple Inc. has no intention to fight back against the European Union's (E.U.) mandate to have a common charger for all electronic devices starting in 2024. Its marketing chief Greg Joswiak confirmed that the company's most popular product, the iPhone, will be shipped with a USB-C charger in compliance with the E.U. mandate, Bloomberg reported.

As per the E.U.'s estimates, consumers in the region spend over $2.5 billion every year on standalone chargers and generate 11,000 tons of electronic waste from discarded chargers alone. To reduce the environmental and economic impact, the E.U. has now mandated that all electronic devices be equipped with a USB-C port so that a single charger can be used for all.

This presents a problem for Apple, which has so far stayed away from a uniform charger port that other device manufacturers have adhered to. Instead, it uses a proprietary connector, called a Lightning port, across its devices and it was expected to oppose the move.

Apple to toe the E.U. line

After months of silence on the issue, Apple seems to have come to terms with the situation and will now comply with the mandate, although Joswiak did not exactly specify the timeline for compliance.

Speaking at the Wall Street Journal conference in California, Joswiak recalled how Apple had previously been at odds with the E.U., when the latter wanted to adopt micro-USBs as a common port. If Apple had agreed then, the Lightning port or even the USB-C that the E.U. now wants in every device would never have been invented.

Apple has opposed the mandate of a single port citing the "stifling of innovation" as a concern but after many years of opposition the company now looks ready to toe the E.U. line. This might also be a reflection of Apple's internal strategy, which has seen the company already switch to USB-C ports on devices such as Macs and iPads.

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The switch on an iPhone may as well be in the pipeline and the E.U. mandate might just be marginally pushing up Apple's plans. Following, the E.U.'s moves, senators in the U.S. have also begun to push for a uniform charger port across devices, while countries like India and Brazil are also mulling similar moves, fearing that post-2024, device makers might dump their products in these markets if a similar move is not in place, Tech Crunch reported.

Refusing to call it metaverse

The Apple executive, however, refused to use the term 'metaverse' to describe the future of computing. Over the past year, many companies have joined the 'metaverse' bandwagon following Mark Zuckerberg's plans to use virtual reality (VR) to build new virtual worlds.

Apple has remained tight lipped about its plans in the domain, although reports suggest that the Cupertino-based company is betting on mixed reality, an amalgamation of VR and augmented reality (AR), and it will roll out a headset soon.

Joswiak was joined by Snap founder Evan Spiegel who also dismissed that the virtual world would be the future. Interesting Engineering has previously reported how Mark Zuckerberg's company has poured billions into building it.

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