Within the subsequent few years, it’s possible you’ll discover your future iPhone makes use of the identical charging cable as most Android telephones after a ruling at present from the European Parliament. The European Parliament has passed a resolution calling for, in its personal phrases, ‘the obligatory introduction of frequent chargers for all cellular units’.
This implies the physique desires all smartphones sooner or later to make use of the identical sort of connectivity tech. As an alternative of iPhones utilizing Lightning, and new funds telephones sticking with the older micro-USB, all units could also be pressured to modify to the trade normal USB-C.
Lightning is Apple’s proprietary tech, so it would not be doable for all Android telephones to begin utilizing that as a substitute of USB-C.
The EP (European Parliament) has known as on the European Fee to extend the foundations and laws compelling firms to comply with this future one-charger rule.
This follows related rulings in 2009 when the European Parliament requested Apple to make use of the then-standard micro-USB. Apple discovered a loophole round that ruling by offering micro-USB to Lightning converters with its telephones as a substitute.
Apple, and a wide range of funds cellphone producers who additionally do not use USB-C, have till July 2020 to conform, earlier than the European Parliament will look to cross laws obliging them to.
The purpose of this ruling is to cut back digital waste, a explanation for which may be folks needing to purchase completely different chargers for various units. In addition to passing the frequent chargers rule, the Parliament has known as for improved cable recycling services and improved compatibility with wi-fi chargers.
What comes subsequent for Apple?
This ruling is unlikely to impression close to future Apple telephones just like the iPhone SE 2 or iPhone 12. There probably isn’t enough time for the European Parliament or Commission to pass the legislation and enforce it before those new phones come out in 2020.
In the future, though, it’s looking more and more likely future iPhones will use USB-C. Saying that, seeing as how MacBooks and the iPad Pro devices already use this standard, it’s possible that Apple was heading in that direction anyway.
So what happens for the iPhone 13 and beyond? Well, it’s possible Apple could create two different products, one with Lightning Ports for most of the world and another USB-C product just for European markets.
That’s unlikely to happen considering the company would have to design and manufacture two different types of phones just to be able to keep Lightning connectors in certain markets.
The logical choice would be for the future iPhones to have USB-C, and then follow industry trends for whatever follows after that.
Another option is if wireless charging becomes popular enough Apple could introduce a device without any ports at all, which relies on wireless transmission of power and data. The tech exists for this already, and we’ve seen it in an Oppo concept device, but it’ll likely be a few years before people are ready to ditch their wires for good.
Whatever happens, it’s unlikely this ruling is anything more than a minor inconvenience for Apple, and it doesn’t mean your current iPhone will become redundant any time soon.
TechRadar has asked Apple for comment on today’s ruling and will update this article when we hear back.
And for everyone else?
Another big impact of this ruling is for micro-USB. This used to be the standard charging tech for mobile phones, and while most phone companies have moved away from it by now, there are still certain phones that use it, for a very good reason.
These phones are all budget phones, usually with double-figure prices, and they use micro-USB since the tech is cheaper to implement on a phone than USB-C.
If cheap phones can no longer use micro-USB, there might be some big implications for the low-end market, and in the short term it’s possible there won’t be any super-cheap phones that use the tech. In the long run though, it’s possible the price of USB-C tech will be driven down, making super-affordable phones feasible again.