Apple is widely anticipated to unveil its latest iPhone models on September 12, and one significant change expected is the adoption of a USB-C charge point, replacing the proprietary Lightning adaptor currently used in its phones.
This shift aligns with a European Union regulation mandating a common charging connection for phones by December 2024, aimed at reducing e-waste and saving consumers money.
While Apple has previously argued against this EU rule, its recent product lineup, including iPads, has already embraced the USB-C standard.
The move towards USB-C compatibility is expected to continue with the upcoming iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro, marking a transition away from the Lightning cable.
Currently, all iPhones since the iPhone 8 (released in 2017) support wireless charging.
Although it’s unclear whether this shift will be exclusive to the European market or applied globally, the benefits for users include the convenience of using a single charger for various Apple devices like iPads, Macs, and iPhones. Additionally, faster download speeds are expected with this transition.
The EU’s common-charger regulation covers an array of “small and medium-sized portable electronics,” encompassing mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, mice and keyboards, GPS devices, headphones, digital cameras, handheld videogame consoles, and portable speakers.
Wired charging cables for these devices will need to feature a USB Type-C port, regardless of the manufacturer.
The EU estimates that this regulation will save consumers “up to €250m [£213m] a year on unnecessary charger purchases” and reduce e-waste by 11,000 tonnes annually.
While laptops are also subject to the rules, manufacturers have a more extended timeline to implement the changes.