Thanks to several recent leaks, we know that Apple is expected to introduce USB-C charging ports in its upcoming iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models, as a result of EU regulations that require manufacturers to adopt a common charging connection. These changes come after Maltese MEP Alex Agius Saliba, the European Parliament’s rapporteur on the subject, championed a universal charger policy that will standardize the charging ports on portable devices sold in the EU to USB-C.
The EU regulation gives phone manufacturers until December 2024 to transition to USB-C charging connections, with the aim of reducing electronic waste and saving consumers money; Saliba sees this move as a significant win for consumers, as it will allow them to use a single charger for multiple portable electronic devices.
Apple had previously opposed the EU rule, arguing that mandating a single connector stifles innovation. However, to target EU consumers and benefit from the single market, the company has had to conform to the new standard. While it’s uncertain whether Apple’s shift to USB-C will be a global change or specific to phones sold in the EU, it’s unlikely that Apple will create a separate version of the handset solely for the European market.
The transition to USB-C will offer customers faster download speeds and the convenience of using a single charger for iPads, Macs, and iPhones. The EU’s common charger rule applies to various small and medium-sized portable electronic devices, including mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, headphones, digital cameras, and more. Laptops are also subject to the rule but have a longer timeframe for compliance.
Saliba believes that this move will not only benefit consumers but also contribute to environmental conservation by reducing the production of unnecessary smartphone chargers, estimated at 14,000 tonnes less waste per year starting in 2024. The EU’s push for a common charging standard aims to simplify and improve the user experience while reducing electronic waste in the market.