Apple's upcoming iPhone models may drop the Lightning port in favor of USB-C connectivity as upcoming legislation from the European Commission may force the Cupertino-based tech giant to make the switch.
The EU is attempting to establish a universal charger for smartphones and other devices, according to sources speaking to Reuters. An EU executive is expected to present the legislation sometime in September with the aim to reduce electronic waste and support customer convenience for charging.
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The report mentions that around half of the chargers sold with smartphones came with a Micro-B USB connector, while 29% had a USB-C cable and 21% a Lightning connector in 2019. A majority of modern Android phones use USB-C connectivity, while Apple has, to the chagrin of many, kept with Lightning since the iPhone 5.
Major smartphone brands, including Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Nokia, previously agreed to sign a voluntary memorandum to start using the same chargers in 2011 with the goal to reduce the variety of chargers. However, Apple shows no sign of joining having introduced its Lightning port in 2012 and recently expanding MagSafe technology to wirelessly charge its iPhone 12.
Switching from Lightning to USB-C
Apple reportedly pushed back on the EU's previous effort to unify connectivity, indicating there would be even more electronic waste if customers were forced to switch to new connection options. Apple has already made attempts to reduce waste, as the iPhone 12 doesn't come with a USB charging brick. It does, at least, come with a USB-C-to-Lightning cable.
Seeing as more Android phones come with USB-C ports than iPhone models with Lightning, there's reason to believe Apple may finally make the switch to USB-C. The tech giant already introduced USB-C connectivity in a number of its products, including the recent iPad Pro and iPad Air. It's the upgrade the iPhone 12 missed out on, and one many are hoping to see with the iPhone 13.
Rumors from earlier this year suggest Apple may end up ditching ports entirely and go with a "portless variant" of the iPhone 13. While this may not be featured, next year's iPhone could go all-in on MagSafe connectivity instead.
While we wait to see if Apple says goodbye to its Lightning connections for good, you can prepare for the connectivity overhaul by checking out the best USB-C accessories and cables and best USB-C hubs.
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Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.