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Apple could be forced to finally drop Lightning for USB-C

Apple could be forced to switch its iPhone charging method from Lightning to USB-C if a proposed EU directive comes to fruition.

The European Parliament is currently deliberating a new law that would require all mobile manufacturers to adopt a standardised charger.

The ‘common charger’ proposal, which is geared towards both reducing waste and making life more convenient for consumers, will be voted on in the future.

The EU says: “To reduce electronic waste and make consumers’ life easier, MEPs want binding measures for chargers to fit all mobile phones and other portable devices.”

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It isn’t the first time regulators have tried to introduce such a directive. Efforts in 2009 and 2014, both of which were voluntary initiatives meaning nothing has particularly stuck. Apple has spoken out on the matter before, back in 2018, when it claimed such a move could stifle innovation.

The company argued: “Apple stands for innovation. Regulations that would drive conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones freeze innovation rather than encourage it. Such proposals are bad for the environment and unnecessarily disruptive for customers.”

Apple has, of course, plenty of experience in changing the charging port for its mobile gadgets. In 2012 it dropped the original 30-pin connector for iPhone, iPad and iPod devices in favour of the Lightning standard that endures today.

Apple may actually be verging towards a switch anyway, as it has already moved to USB-C on MacBook and iPad Pro models. Rumours continually predict the Lightning standard might be ready for silicon heaven, and the EU parliament might be the one to hammer the final nail in the coffin.

Of course any EU regulation won’t be binding in the UK for too much longer, but should the bloc decide upon such a course of action, Apple would probably make the change worldwide anyway.

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