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Flash report: Apple forced to start replacing the Lightning connector with USB-C after European Parliament reaches decision

EU looking to phase out Apple's Lightning connector in favor of USB-C
EU looking to phase out Apple's Lightning connector in favor of USB-C

Image source: Lifewire

In the modern world, the majority of mobile devices have largely used the USB-C cable, but Apple has kept its Lightning charger.

For years, users have been urging the tech giant to make the switch, and in 2022, the demand grew louder.

On Tuesday, the European Union moved closer to forcing Apple to ditch the Lightning cable.

The report

On Tuesday, the European Parliament approved a new set of rules that should apply to mobile devices and tablets from the beginning of 2025.

Meanwhile, larger devices like laptops will follow suit and apply the rules in the spring of 2026.

The first such law requires new devices sold in the EU to use the USB-C charging standard.

Electronics covered in this new rule include:

  • Rechargeable cameras
  • Headphones
  • Portable speakers
  • Handheld video game consoles

The decision effectively ends proprietary charging standards on the trading block, including Apple’s Lightning connectors for the iPhone and iPad.

Read also: Apple’s iPhone 14 lineup exceeds expectation during unveiling

Global effect

The EU proposal has sparked calls for similar standards from lawmakers around the world.

In early 2022, three Democratic senators asked the Commerce Department to develop a “global strategy” for charging accessories.

They cited consumer nuisance and environmental waste as the basis for developing the strategy.

Apple’s response

According to a European Parliament report, Apple officials told European lawmakers that the proposed rule would render more than a billion devices and accessories using the Lightning cable obsolete.

A 2021 study cited similar reports.

The study said iPhones with Lightning connectors accounted for 18% of new phone sales in 2019.

Meanwhile, 44% used USB-C while 38% used the older USB Micro-B connector.

Read also: Looking into Apple’s latest AirPod Pro

Final notes

Tuesday’s vote is one of many formal steps needed to finalize a policy that EU officials drafted over the summer.

The measure received overwhelming support in the European Parliament with 602 votes for, 13 against and 8 abstentions.

The next step in approving the measure is the European Council, where it will finally come into force.


Apple is one step closer to being forced to ditch its Lightning charger in Europe

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