Our colleagues from The Wall Street Journal obtained a reaction from Apple around the arrival of iPhones with a USB type C port. New rules will soon force all smartphones sold in the European Union to carry a USB-C port at the place of any alternative or proprietary technology.
Overall, the market had already pushed all other charging ports to the exit largely. But Apple is resisting with its Lightning ports and cables. It must be said that the brand receives royalties of several euros as soon as a third-party manufacturer produces a cable or a device with this type of port.
Apple thinks the European Commission didn’t think of everything when imposing the USB-C port on the iPhone
However, this is not the real reason why Apple clings to Lightning cables according to an executive from the firm. Senior Vice President of Marketing at Apple Greg Joswiak readily admits that Apple will comply with the new European rules: “of course we will have to comply, we have no choice”.
Asked about the date of the arrival of the first models, the manager pointed out that these are “Europeans dictating the agenda for European consumers” – namely that the new regulations, which apply to both smartphones and tablets, impose the USB-C port on all these devices “by fall 2024”.
The manager continues with several examples of regulations that led to technologies that did not work, before Apple decided to develop proprietary technology. Then he recalls that Apple has been opposing Europe on the issue of the charging port for “more than 10 years”.
At the time, recalls the marketing manager, Europe was not pushing the adoption of the USB-C standard but of microUSB ports, which are now considered obsolete. Apple says it has bet more on hybrid lightning / USB cables allowing the use of any USB-C charger on the market with iPhones, while being surprised that they are now attacking the cable itself – today now used by over a billion users worldwide.
However, for Apple, since the hundreds of millions of Apple customers in Europe already have these cables, forcing them to switch to USB-C cables threatens to generate even more electronic waste – which seems contrary to the aims of the Commission. And the manager concludes: “we think it would have been better for the consumer and the environment not to have this kind of mandatory requirements on our products”.
While pointing out that these cables are an integral part of the ecosystem of devices that Apple users use – which is likely to make many accessories obsolete faster. Also, no word has been said about the presence of USB Type-C ports on iPhones and iPads sold in the rest of the world.