Apple is heading for a tussle with lawmakers at the European Parliament who want to compel all tech giants to use the same universal charging cable format.
Apple’s charging cable would be a casualty of such a law and the company is already warning that such regulation would throttle innovation and disrupt consumers.
If the European Commission accedes to demands for new regulation from the European Parliament, then Apple devices on sale in Europe would have to provide a charging method other than the firm’s trademark Lightning cable.
Currently, the cable gaining most traction in Europe as the universal charging method is the USB-C.
Apple may be being canny, however.
In 2019, it ditched the Lightning cable for the iPad Pro in favour of USB-C.
Most new Android phones use USB ports.
The European Commission is pursuing such standardisation in a bid to eliminate electronic waste generated by obsolete cables, which current estimates put at 51,000 tonnes per year.
European Parliament MEP Alex Agius Saliba described this as “hugely detrimental to the environment”.
He added: “A common charger should fit all mobile phones, tablets, e-book readers and other portable devices.”
However, change may be coming, and Apple is staying ahead of the curve.
Along with Huawei and Samsung, it’s already manufacturing devices that don’t require cables at all as they charge wirelessly.
The technology is still at an early stage of development, but the formidably insightful and consistently accurate Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is forecasting that the 2021 iPhone will drop the Lightning port in favour of exclusively wireless charging and syncing.
Maybe we can expect the same on other Apple mobile devices in the foreseeable future.
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