There has been major consumer and regulatory pressure on Apple to switch the iPhone’s charging port from the lightning connector to USB-C. Earlier this month, the European Parliament approved legislation requiring phone makers to use USB-C connectors beginning in 2024, increasing pressure on the tech giant to make the switch.
Apple’s senior vice president of marketing, Greg Joswiak, confirmed on Tuesday that the company would comply with the EU’s ruling but provided no further details.
At the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ Tech Live event, Joswiak expressed dissatisfaction with how governments worldwide handle this issue. For example, he claims that a decade ago, when the EU was pushing for micro USB connectors, his company disagreed with them. While the regulatory body’s goal was to reduce the number of power adaptors consumers used to make life easier for them, Apple approached the problem differently, he explained.
Apple introduced the lightning connector nearly ten years ago, and it has since become the primary connector for many devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, and AirPods. In addition, apple has released iPads with USB-C as the primary connector in recent years, including the latest entry-level iPad.
“We got to a better place which is power adapters with detachable cables. All of them are USB-A or USB-C, and you choose the cable which is appropriate for your device. That allowed over a billion people to have that (lightning) connector and to be able to use what they have already and not be disrupted and cause a bunch of e-waste,” Joswiak said.
The EU and other regions also support a single universal mobile phone charger. Democrats Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Ed Markey urged the US to follow the EU’s example in an open letter to Gina Raimondo, the secretary of commerce, in June.