What switching to the common charger means for Apple (2 videos)

From "Apple may already be preparing to introduce USB Type-C charging ports" which aired Wednesday on CNBC International:

Bryan Ma of IDC discusses the European Parliament's approval of a new law that would require electronic devices to use a common charger.

From Dalvin Brown's "Why Apple Is Fighting the EU Over Charging Cables" posted in May by the Wall Street Journal: 

The lightning charging cable on Apple’s iPhone hasn’t changed in 10 years, but it just might for iPhones in the EU in favor of a more universal cable – the USB-C.

My take: For Apple, it was always less about money and more about control.


  1. David Emery said:
    I wonder if the Eurocrats have calculated the large number of Lightning cables that are being obsoleted.

    Now to be fair, since one of our iPads is USB-C and the other is Lightning, and since my wife’s new iPhone 14 has USB-C to Lightning, I’m already dealing with a lot more cables than I was when it was all USB-A to Lightning.

    But I remain unconvinced by the Eurocrats’ logic here, particularly since I switched to a single multi-port charger (3rd party) after Apple stopped including chargers in their boxes.

    October 5, 2022
  2. Daniel Epstein said:
    This is much ado about nothing overall. Apple’s big small decision will be whether they have a European IPhone model or just switch all the IPhones to USBC. I do think they still need a hardwire port for data and charging options. Many cables will be sold but almost all chargers will work with proper cable. But Apple is correct that for the short term there will be little innovation in this area. At least USBC is better than the various smaller USB options.

    October 5, 2022
  3. Bart Yee said:
    Two options for Apple:
    Apple could provide EU specific USB-C iPhone, iPads and AirPods charging cases (yeah, those too, did I miss anything else?) models and limit production of those to that region. Could charge a bit for it too as an EU specific value added change requirement, just to remind EU consumers of that fact?

    Or switch all iPhone, iPad and AirPods cases to USB-C ports and then include USB-C cords? My question is will they be USB-C to USB-A or all USB-C male-male cords? Cause hell if all US customers and elsewhere will have to buy new USB-C chargers. I’ve got at least 8 Anker multiport (2-4) USB-A home chargers and at least 8 car chargers scattered among 4 cars, none of the cars are newer than 2004 (for now) so they have no built in charging ports.

    I suppose we’ll have a wave of USB-A chargers and lightning cords hit the e-waste streams worldwide like VHS, CD/BluRay players, cable boxes, and cassette decks that came before them?

    October 5, 2022
    • Daniel Epstein said:
      Hey Bart, I will say most people will want to keep both USBC to USBA and USBC to USBC cables around if they use any legacy chargers. I bought a USBC external Hard drive for a client to use the other day and both those cables came in the box. I think this will be true for people who want to be prepared to charge their phone as well. Since cables are needed in both cases and they do tend to wear out over time there will still be plenty of incompatibility incidents for many years to come. This law will likely barely help people going forward who don’t have any older chargers they want to continue to use. As for the durability of the USBC connector compared to lightning it will be interesting to see how that works out. I do think phones should have at least two ways to charge which Apple already knows how to do.

      October 5, 2022
    • David Emery said:
      As a single data point, Wife’s new iPhone 14 Pro came with a USB-C to Lightning cable (and no charger.) So it’s pretty clear that for the charger side, Apple is now USB-C.

      Could Apple ship iDevices with a USB-C to Lightning adapter? Would that fill the EU’s requirement? (And if not, I’d like to hear from the EU -why not-, if they really are worried about “excess phone chargers filling landfills”, since a USB-C/Lighting adapter would NOT increase the charger count. My personal guess/assessment is this is a deliberate attempt by Eurocrats to poke Apple in the eye, and the “chargers in landfill” is just their lame excuse.)

      October 5, 2022
  4. Aaron Belich said:
    Yeah… the masses of iPhone users will now be subject to the insanity that is the USB Type C cable market. Genius. What could possibly go wrong!? /s

    Regular iPad / iPhone should go port-less.

    Pro models across the board should have USB C with Thunderbolt support, across the board, regardless of the form factor (Mac, iPad, iPhone, etc).

    October 5, 2022

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