Apple has given its most official confirmation so far that a USB-C-equipped iPhone is on the way, as the European Union requires all phones sold in its member countries to use the connector if they have a physical charger. When asked by Joanna Stern of The Wall Street Journal if the company would replace Lighting, Apple marketing lead Greg Joswiak responded, “obviously, we’ll have to comply, we have no choice.”
Stern mentioned the law during a conversation with Joswiak and software VP Craig Federighi at the WSJ’s Tech Live conference, and then asked when we could expect to see USB-C on an iPhone. “The Europeans are the ones dictating timing for European customers,” Joswiak responded. The law currently states that “all mobile phones and tablets” must use USB-C by “autumn 2024.” Joswiak refused to say whether the connector would be included in phones sold outside the EU.
And besides, he made it abundantly clear that Apple is unhappy with being legally forced to make the switch.
Before admitting that the company must comply with the law, Joswiak went into great detail about how Apple has historically preferred to go its own way and trust its engineers rather than be forced by lawmakers to adopt hardware standards. He cited Micro USB and hearing aid compliance as examples of situations in which Apple was pushed to meet ill-considered requirements.
He also claimed that charging bricks with detachable cables has mostly solved the issue of standardization and that switching from Lightning to USB-C would result in a lot of e-waste.
Even now, something that hasn’t been mentioned is telling: a portless iPhone that relies solely on wireless charging, which is theoretically acceptable.
Joswiak did not say whether the company was considering its options or if there were any ways to avoid including USB-C on the iPhone. Instead, we received a resigned, slightly winding response that led to what appears to be an inevitable conclusion: USB-C is the future port for connecting to and charging your iPhone.