Your next iPhone may finally lose Lightning for USB-C because of new law

The port on the iPhone 12 Pro Max
The port on the iPhone 12 Pro Max (Image credit: TechRadar)

Apple may be forced to ditch its Lightning port connector on future iPhones if new legislation being proposed by the European Commission comes into force.

A source speaking to Reuters has said the European Union wants to introduce a universal charging standard for smartphones to help with consumer confusion and cut down on e-waste.

This has yet to be confirmed, but the source says that the EU executive are in the process of drafting the legislation and that it's expected to be introduced during September 2021.

If this goes ahead it will mean if Apple wants to sell its smartphones in Europe it will have to adhere to this law and use a similar charging technology to most Android phones.

There's no guarantee the EU will choose USB-C as the standard charging tech, but previously it has looked toward the technology as the norm for future smartphones, as it's so common on modern Android handsets.

The fact this will be introduced in September 2021 means it's very unlikely to affect the iPhone 13, which we currently expect to debut on September 14 alongside three other phones and an Apple Watch 7.

It could be introduced before the iPhone 14 though, so it may be something Apple has to follow for its 2022 models. Exactly when this will take effect is unclear, so we'll have to wait and see what happens from the EU's perspective.

There is also a chance this won't affect any iPhone model, especially if the company decides to introduce portless models in the next few years.

Analysis: will Apple go portless first?


This Oppo concept phone is a handset without a charging port (Image credit: Future)

Rumors are abound that Apple is experimenting with the idea of a portless smartphone. It was one of the first manufacturers to drop the headphone jack from its smartphones, so could Apple be the first to drop the charging port too?

If it were to do this, you'd instead be charging your smartphone through wireless charging. With the introduction of MagSafe wireless charging on the iPhone 12 series, this may seem like a priority for Apple's future smartphones.

It would be a big jump for Apple to make in the near future, as wireless charging technology is still not the priority method of charging smartphones for most people.

One rumor at the end of 2020 did suggest Apple will be experimenting with this on one model of the iPhone 13 series, but that was just one source and it doesn't seem likely it'll be happening anymore.

This would be one way for Apple to avoid switching to USB-C, but it seems like this EU law is coming a touch earlier than the company may have hoped.

Via Laptop Mag

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.