Thanks to legislation being put forth next month, the European Commission could end up forcing Apple to remove the Lightning port on future iPhones, in favor of USB type C.
According to a new report from Reuters, The European Commission is looking to “establish a common charger” to create continuity between phones and other electronic devices. Though, according to the report, the EU is currently drafting the legislation, they plan to present this legislation next month
Half of chargers sold with mobile phones in the European Union in 2018 had a USB micro-B connector while 29% had a USB C connector and 21% a Lightning connector, a Commission impact assessment study in 2019 found.– Reuters
The legislation isn’t solely targeted at Apple, obviously. The goal is to make things overall less confusing in the EU, and creating a seamless experience across the board, so everyone would have to use USB-C. The reason this is such a big deal for Apple is obviously because they have refused to switch from Lightning to USB-C on iPhone.
By keeping Lighting on iPhones, Apple is able to bring in a TON of revenue — effectively forcing customers to buy new Lightning cables if they lost one, giving money to Apple — or buying a third-party cable that likely had to be certified by Apple, ALSO giving money to Apple.
If Apple switched to USB-C — something that is not proprietary to Apple — they’d be missing out on a ton of extra revenue and control. This legislation wouldn’t technically force Apple to have USB-C on every single iPhone manufactured — just on iPhones sold in the EU — but it’s unlikely that Apple would make special iPhones with USB-C just for one market. If forced in one market, they’d like manufacture all future iPhones with the USB-C port.
Even if this legislation is carried out and the law is passed, this is very unlikely to actually end up affecting Apple.
Apple would have years to comply, since it takes time to manufacture these devices. That’s number one.
Number two is this: Apple is going portless.
All of this is moot, in Apple land. Tim Cook and the gang are working on making the iPhone portless, likely by next year, which would make the argument about charging cables irrelevant.
I get it. I see what the EU is trying to do. But it’s unlikely to phase Apple, at this point.