After the European Union passed a law requiring all new electronic devices that charge with a plug to support USB-C, all eyes turned to Apple and its Lightning-powered iPhone. Now we have an answer: Apple has confirmed the iPhone is moving to USB-C.
In an interview with Joanna Stern at the Wall Street Journal Tech Live conference Tuesday, Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of global marketing, was surprisingly candid when asked about the future of USB-C on the iPhone: “It’s clear that we comply; we have no choice.”
However, it is clear that Apple is not happy with the move. Joswiak pointed out that the EU commission originally wanted to use micro-USB as a global standard more than a decade ago, which would have hindered the development of both Lightning and USB-C if implemented. He believes that detachable cables have solved the power adapter e-waste problem and that forcing USB-C will block future charging innovation.
“We think the approach would have been better for the environment and better for our consumers if the government hadn’t been so prescriptive.”
There have been persistent rumors of a “portless” iPhone that charges exclusively via MagSafe and wirelessly, but based on Joswiak’s comments, that’s probably several generations away. Once Apple makes a USB-C iPhone, it will likely continue to sell older generations of iPhone 13 and 14 Lightning phones, as the law only applies to new devices.
Apple has already brought USB-C to the entire iPad line (excluding the older ninth-generation model), the Siri Remote, and all Macs. The main product with Lightning ports is the iPhone, AirPods and Mac accessories, which are rumored to be making the switch in a year or two.
While the EU gives Apple two years to comply, there are strong rumors that Apple won’t waste time making the switch: The iPhone 15 is expected to drop Lightning in favor of USB-C when it arrives in the fall. of 2023 arrives.