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Report: European Union moves closer to pushing Apple to abandon the Lightning charger in favor of USB-C

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

Image source: Lifewire

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

For years, users have called for Apple to make the switch, and the demand has grown even stronger in 2022.

On Tuesday, the European Union got closer to forcing the tech giant to abandon the Lightning cable.

The report

On Tuesday, the European Parliament gave their final approval to a new set of rules that are expected to apply to mobile devices and tablets at the start of 2025.

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

The first-of-its-kind law will require new devices sold in the EU to use the USB-C charging standard.

Electronics covered in this new rule includes:

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

The decision all but ends the proprietary charging standards in the trading bloc, including Apple’s lightning connectors for iPhones and iPads.

Global effect

The EU proposal has created calls for similar standards by lawmakers worldwide.

Earlier in 2022, three Democratic senators asked the Commerce Department to come up with a “comprehensive strategy” on charging accessories.

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

Apple’s response

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

A study conducted last year cited similar reports.

It stated that iPhones with Lightning connectors accounted for 18% of new mobile phone sales in 2019.

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

Final notes

The vote held on Tuesday is one of several formal steps necessary to finalize a policy the EU officials hammered out this summer.

The measure earned overwhelming support in the EU parliament, rakingin 602 votes of approval, 13 votes against, and 8 abstentions.

The measure’s next stop is at the European Council, where it will get its final approval.


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

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