APPLE could be forced to change your iPhone cable yet again under new rules.
The tech giant may have to switch to USB-C cables – and ditch the hugely popular Lightning connector.
Apple could be forced to ditch the Lightning port[/caption]
Europe’s Parliament is currently debating whether or not to force the adoption of a “common charger” for all new mobile phones.
Apple would only be compelled to use this common charger in EU countries – but would likely do the same in the USA and globally anyway.
The EU is set to vote on the matter “at a future session”, but hasn’t confirmed a date.
The switch would render current iPhone cables useless, and force fans to buy a new lead if they upgrade their handset.
Apple charges nearly £20 for USB-C cables on its website[/caption]
The new iPhone cable would be Apple’s third in 13 years.
Apple’s first iPhones used the massive 30-pin dock connector, before the firm abruptly switched to lightning connectors in 2012.
The move made everybody’s old charging cables useless, and the same could happen again.
The EU has previously called for common chargers on phones, but now wants to enforce the ruling.
“To reduce electronic waste and make consumers’ life easier, MEPs want binding measures for chargers to fit all mobile phones and other portable devices,” the EU explained.
“A common charger should fit all mobile phones, tablets, e-book readers and other portable devices, MEPs will insist.
“According to estimates, old chargers generate more than 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste per year.”
If forced to create a USB-C iPhone, Apple would likely do so globally – to avoid creating different designs for non-EU countries.
A brief history of Apple charging cable changes
Here's everything you need to know…
- When the first iPhone launched in 2007, it featured a charging port designed from the ground up by Apple
- This was called the 30-pin dock connector, and survived on Apple handsets for years
- But in 2012, Apple introduced a new Lightning port for charging phones (from the iPhone 5 onwards)
- The move sparked outrage as it made everybody’s old charging cables useless
- In 2019, rumours began to circulate that Apple is planning to change the iPhone’s charging port a second time
- The firm is reportedly planning to switch to USB-C charging, as it did with the 2019 iPad Pro
The most likely candidate for a new charger is USB-C.
It’s an increasingly popular type of charging and data transfer port that was launched in the middle of 2014.
The male end of the cable is a little thicker and much wider than Apple’s Lightning cables, but they largely perform the same job.
However, while Lightning ports are exclusively used on Apple devices, USB-C ports are now very common.
Most flagship Android phones now feature USB-C ports, including the Samsung Galaxy S10, Google Pixel 4, and OnePlus 7 Pro.
Apple has also adopted USB-C ports on several products, including new MacBooks and the iPad Pro.
Last year’s iPhone 11 cable also has a USB-C tip on one end, but still joins to the handset using a Lightning connector.
It’s also worth mentioning that Apple is rumoured to be adding USB-C connectors on the upcoming iPhone 12 anyway.
But Apple has previously spoken out against proposals to force common chargers across the industry.
“Regulations that would drive conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones freeze innovation rather than encourage it,” Apple’s Claire Darmon told the EU in 2019.
“Such proposals are bad for the environment and unnecessarily disruptive for customers.
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In other news, Samsung is expected to reveal the world’s first 5G tablet in a matter of weeks.
The iPhone 12 could be the thinnest ever thanks to new screen technology.
And the new phone could also see through mist and fog thanks to rumoured ‘Spectral Edge’ camera integration.
Do you think having universal charging cables is a good idea? Let us know in the comments!
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