European Union hurts Apple again
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European Union hurts Apple again

Apr 06, 2023

The removal of the Lightning port for the USB Type-C interface is one of the most notable changes to the iPhone 15 series. There are reports that Foxconn will still maintain encryption for Apple's mass-produced USB Type-C interface. This means that MFI (Made for iPhone) certification will be a must for some levels of charging. Without the MFI cert., the speed for data transfer as well as charging will have a limit. However, there will likely be a turning point in this issue

We are aware that the European Union laws were the source of Apple's compromise of the USB Type-C interface. In fact, the technical requirements set forth by the European Union mandate that mobile phone devices be fitted with a USB Type-C port for cable charging. You must adhere to the USB PD specs if the charging voltage is greater than 5V or the current is greater than 3A.

The European Union notes that unfair limits on charging speeds by various brands will be a thing of the past by unifying fast charging standards. This would also ensure that charging speeds are uniform when using any suitable charger. The goal of the limits set forth by the EU is, obviously, to reduce the rate at which users buy charging heads and cables as well as electronic waste. If Apple pushes for MFI USB-C cert., it will surely go against the EU's initial aim. That will be illegal in the European market and it will surely be bad news for Apple. There is, however, still a minor loophole that Apple can explore in data transfer. Apple does not restrict charging power, but users who merely require data transmission must use MFI.

Back in June 2022, negotiators from the European Parliament and the 27 other member states of the European Union reached a deal that, starting in 2024, mobile phones and other electronic devices in the EU will use standardized charging stations. According to a statement from the European Parliament, USB Type-C will be the standard charging port for all mobile phones, tablets, and cameras in the EU by the fall of 2024.

The iPhone is most hit by the new regulations. This is due to the fact that most current Android devices come with USB Type-C ports. Apple, however, has insisted that its iPhones will only be charged through the Lightning connector. Yet it's clear that things will soon alter. The adoption of the new laws will further encourage the replacement of the Type-C interface on the iPhone with one that is more popular and effective. In Europe, the iPhone 16 should utilize the USB Type-C interface based on current plan timelines. The company might choose to use USB Type-C on the iPhone sooner, though.

After years of dispute, the usage of a "single charging port" was finally authorized by EU nations and legislators last year. Although the EU's action has actually been in the works for more than ten years, it wasn't formally submitted to the law until September of last year. According to the European Commission, the change would benefit the environment and save users about 250 million euros ($293 million) a year.

The proposal from the European Commission states that all mobile phones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers, and handheld video game consoles will use USB Type-C as their standard interface. Chargers will also be offered for sale separately from electrical devices.

Users of Android and iPhone mobile phones have long griped about needing various chargers for their devices. Given that many people own both iPhones and Android phones, it is rather awkward. No matter how amazing your Type-C charger is, you must get a new charger if you purchase an iPhone. For many people, this is extremely inconvenient.

However, with the new law from the EU, Apple will have no choice. Its 2024 iPhone must come with a USB Type-C port. For this year, it is still at liberty whether or not to use the USB Type-C port. This means that while the iPhone 16 USB Type-C port is certain, the iPhone 15 is not so certain.

Two of the three significant changes the European Union will undertake in 2024 will have a major impact on Apple. This makes it simple to think that Apple is a target for the European Union. The Union, however, made sure to make a clear statement in this regard. The European Commission made it clear that Apple was not the target of the action. The EU claims that relevant firms were unable to agree on a solution despite ten years of negotiations. According to reports, charge interfaces have drastically decreased following ten years of discussion. The Union asserts that from 30 charging connections ten years ago, we now only have 3.

In 2018, the USB Micro-B interface connector was used by 50% of the chargers for mobile phones, according to a 2019 survey by the European Commission. In addition, although 21% have a Lightning connector, 29% employ a USB Type-C connector.

Apple has previously said: "We remain concerned that allowing only one type of charger will stifle rather than incentivize innovation. This will in turn harm consumers in Europe and around the world".

Thierry Breton, the director of the European Commission said "It will also allow new technologies such as wireless charging to emerge and mature without innovation. It will become a source of market fragmentation and consumer inconvenience."

Actually, Apple's best course of action is to create wireless charging tech. However, Apple probably won't introduce an iPhone that exclusively supports wireless charging, though.