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Flash report: Europe pushing for Apple to abandon Lightning connector in new set of rules



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Image source: Lifewire

In the modern world, most mobile devices have largely stuck with USB-C cable, but Apple has kept its Lightning charger.

For years, users have been asking the tech giant to make the switch, and demand has increased again in 2022.

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

The report

The European Parliament on Tuesday approved a new set of rules that should apply to mobile devices and tablets from the start of 2025.

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

The first law of its kind will require 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 virtually ends proprietary charging standards in the commercial block, including Apple’s Lightning connectors for the iPhone and iPad.


Global effect

The EU’s proposal has prompted calls for similar standards from lawmakers around the world.

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

They cited consumer inconvenience and environmental waste as the basis for the development of the strategy.

Apple’s response

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

A study conducted in 2021 cited similar reports.

He 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.


Final notes

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

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

The next step in the measure’s approval is at the European Council, where it will be finally put into effect.