An Apple executive confirmed the company will make a USB-C iPhone following the European Union’s new law mandating all phones sold in member countries use the connector.
“Obviously, we’ll have to comply; we have no choice,” Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Greg Joswiak said when asked about replacing the proprietary Lightning connector with USB-C on an upcoming iPhone by The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern (via The Verge). Stern brought up the USB-C issue during a talk with Joswiak and Apple’s VP of software, Craig Federighi, at the WSJ‘s Tech Live conference.
However, Joswiak made it clear Apple isn’t a fan of the new rules and was fairly ambiguous about when the USB-C iPhone would arrive, and where it would be available.
“The Europeans are the ones dictating timing for European customers,” Joswiak said when asked when the USB-C iPhone would arrive. The law dictates that all mobile phones and tablets will need to use USB-C by the fall of 2024. Moreover, Joswiak wouldn’t say whether Apple would launch USB-C iPhones outside of the EU (although his comments seem to indicate it won’t).
Joswiak also went on a bit of a rant about how Apple prefers to go its own way rather than be forced by lawmakers to adopt hardware standards. Moreover, Joswiak claimed that charging bricks with detachable cables mostly solves the issue the new regulations seek to fix, and said that switching iPhones from Lightning to USB-C would generate lots of e-waste.
Unfortunately, those arguments aren’t particularly compelling. In the long run, having all smartphones use the same port will reduce e-waste by eliminating the need to change cables when you change phones. Plus, when you consider that Apple makes a lot of money from Lightning accessories (and thus stands to lose out if the iPhone has USB-C), its aversion to the change makes more sense.
Finally, it’s worth noting that Joswiak didn’t mention anything about Apple considering options to avoid putting USB-C on the iPhone. Rumours have circled for years that the company would launch a portless iPhone and, technically, an iPhone that only used wireless charging would be allowed under the new EU rules. Joswiak didn’t lend any fuel to that fire, however. It seems Apple is resigned to USB-C on the iPhone.
Source: The Verge