As you may remember, we did the homework on Apple’s plans for a Made For iPhone program on the iPhone 15’s USB-C port, which would have contravened the European Union’s rules against limiting charging speeds.
Well, it turns out the EU may have read our report, as European Commissioner Thierry Breton has recently sent a letter to the company with a warning about limiting the USB-C functionality.
US-Breaking my heart
The letter was discovered by German press agency DPA, and according to the report by newspaper Die Zeit, a verbal warning was given in a meeting between the EU and Apple in mid-March (just after we broke the news).
The warning is simple: products that limit charging or data speeds of unofficial USB-C cables would not be allowed to be sold in EU countries. That would eliminate 27 countries from Apple’s customer base.
Now, it’s worth noting that Apple has until December 28, 2024 to follow this new legislation. That does mean that if the company wanted to, it could proceed with MFi for iPhone 15 models by putting an authentication chip that looks for officially-certified USB-C cables and accessories.
Now let me be clear. I don’t think Apple would be that daft as to stick so vigilantly to its guns and sacrifice a huge portion of iPhone sales.
What I do think could be a possibility is that Made For iPhone branding will continue to exist, but in name only across EU territories. If the company was feeling particularly petty, it could manufacture iPhones with the authentication chip and simply deactivate them through software in select countries.
Whatever may happen, Apple has a while to plan its next moves. USB-C in the iPhone 15 is certainly a step in the right direction, but we shall wait and see how locked down this first foray will be.
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Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.