Apple faces backlash for removing Lightning chargers from new iPhones

Apple will not be able to control the update for iPhone 15 due to new law

Under the stairs or the garage is a box that contains a mess of cables, charging plugs, and other miscellaneous items. This copper and plastic mess is where old phones and wires that haven’t been used in years are buried.

Many cables have been abandoned so long that their original purpose has been forgotten. But the wires are still there, in case one day someone can remember their original use.

Boxes could get even more crowded. Apple is launching its brand new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro on Tuesday. Apple will undoubtedly hail the phones as being faster, smarter, and more powerful than their previous generation.

Apple could not control one update for the new phones. Apple will change its Lightning charging cable and port, a unique technology to its devices, to a different type of cable known as “USB C”.

Apple has been fighting mandarins from Brussels, who have launched a crusade to combat “e-waste” technology, for years over this seemingly innocuous tweak.

Brussels announced new rules last year that will require technology companies to adopt a common charging standard by 2024, choosing USB-C.

Officials said that under the new regulations, consumers will no longer have to purchase a separate charger for each new device they buy. They would only need one charger “for all small and medium-sized electronic portable devices”.

Apple reluctantly accepted this diktat. Apple’s iPhone 15 lineup will require USB-C chargers for all new models. Experts say that the move may irritate some consumers, as it will make old charging hardware redundant at a time when Apple’s revenue is falling.

Ben Wood, the chief analyst of CCS Insight, said: “The expected switch to USB-C may cause some friction among Apple customers, who already own proprietary Lightning cables and docks in their homes.”

Apple’s iPhone 15 is launching at a difficult time. It will include some new innovations such as a zoomable camera periscope.

Apple’s iPhone sales fell by 2pc or more in the last three months of June, according to a recent report. The $2.7 trillion tech giant has experienced its longest revenue decline period since 2016.

Following reports China was banning the usage of iPhones among government officials, its value dropped by more than $200bn last week. Apple’s sales are a major factor in China, and its manufacturing is crucial.

Apple’s iPhone 15 is expected to offer a modest upgrade over previous models.

was furious last year at the EU’s decision. Greg Joswiak told Sky News in 2012 that Apple had no choice but to comply with the EU’s decision. He said that the Europeans were the ones who dictated the timing.

Apple has been lobbying the EU for years.

Brussels was the first to call for a standardised charger for laptops and phones in 2009. Then, there were dozens charging ports from different brands that were all useless. Apple joined an industry group which promises to work toward a standard charging.

In 2012, Apple introduced the Lightning cable that it still uses today. In Europe, there are now only three charger types. Apple commissioned an 88-page 2019 report that claimed consumers could face £1.5bn in costs if forced to switch chargers due to the reforms.

The report stated: “The common charger will yield at best limited environmental benefits.”

Lightning cables are used by all iPhones worldwide.

Apple will not only switch to Lightning in Europe, but also globally.

The wall adapter costs £19 and is required for buyers who have been using the Lightning connector on their devices for years.

iPhones are no longer packaged with a cable to charge them. AirPod wireless headphones are also switching to the new cables.

Experts say that the new cable, expected to come with the iPhone 15, will have a USB-C connector on both ends. This could cause consumers to react negatively. The majority of consumers will not have a wall adapter that has such a port as most wall plugs use a USB-A connector.

In the past, similar changes have caused outrage. Apple’s removal of the 3.5mm jack on its phones was met with mixed reviews at first.

Many fans remain enthusiastic. Many Android competitors use USB-C cables that offer faster data transfer speeds. These cables are capable of charging faster, with a maximum of 240W. Apple’s Lightning cable can only handle 20W.

Apple’s MacBook range and iPads are among the larger Apple devices that already use USB-C. Wireless charging is also supported on its phones.

Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities says that Apple had to bite the Bullet on USB-C but it gives Apple flexibility in the future for design changes. It’s not ideal, but it will be quickly adopted by consumers.

Wood, from CCS, says: “In the end, they’re likely to benefit, as a universal charging systems has some obvious advantages.”

Although European officials have forced Apple to finally bend the knee over USB-C there could be another twist.

Apple’s USB-C chargers may have tiny chips that verify their authenticity and allow for faster download speeds.

The Commission has already reacted. According to the German newspaper Die Zeit Thierry Breton wrote to Apple to warn: “Devices which do not meet uniform charger requirements will be prohibited.”

The charging wars could be in for a final surprise.

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