Apple may be able to escape the European Union’s (EU) new USB-C mandatory charger laws by going wireless.
- Apple has publicly pushed against the EU’s charger standardization proposals but the new law may just be a temporary inconvenience for the company’s plans to go wireless.
- “At some point in the next few years, Apple will probably begin transitioning entirely to inductive charging on the iPhone and iPad, matching the Apple Watch,” says Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.
- “Apple is set to shift from the Lightning charging port on the iPhone and other devices to USB-C to abide by a new European law, but the company is still planning on a wireless-first future,” Gurman continues.
- All phones, laptops, and other devices must standardize chargers to USB-C cables in the 27 EU countries between 2024 and 2026. Apple will likely transition the iPhone 15 next fall to USB-C.
- “Strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world,” says Apple.
Why it’s important
Apple’s long-term plans for wireless charging stations may beat the EU’s plans to reign in the company’s charger policies.
As we reported yesterday, the EU Parliament decided in a 602-to-13 vote earlier this month to standardize USB-C connectors in an effort to reduce generated waste and make it easier for consumers.
“For about five years now, the EU has been pushing device makers to unify around USB-C for the sake of interoperability and environmental benefits,” says Gurman.
Apple still uses different cables for most of its devices and will be one of the most affected companies.
“If you’re an Apple fan entrenched in its ecosystem—with an iPhone, AirPods, iPad, Apple Watch, and MacBook—you need at least three different chargers: Lightning for the iPhone and AirPods, USB-C for the iPad Pro, and MacBook, and MagSafe for the Apple Watch,” Gurman continues.
“So why is Apple publicly pushing back on the law while privately planning the shift anyway? Well, the move is better for consumers and for the Apple ecosystem at large—and the company gets that. But it can’t publicly agree with the EU because then it would seem that a government is guiding its product development plans and that would set a bad precedent: If you don’t like how an Apple product works, try to change it via law,” says Gurman.