The European Union has announced plans to impose a universal charging rule on technology makers that would block some connections – like Apple’s Lightning port – from devices sold in the region.
The proposal, which is not yet final, provides that smartphone manufacturers have 24 months to switch to the universal connector type.
For Apple, that would mean the iPhone 14, which we would expect in 2022, would likely keep Lightning, but the iPhone 15 – which could hit the market in 2023 – will have to look for a different type of connector.
The Lightning port made waves when it was introduced on the iPhone 5 in 2012, replacing the then long-standing 30-pin connector, causing a social outcry as a wide range of docks and other accessories relied on the larger connector type quickly incompatible with new iPhones.
While some owners at the time were dissatisfied with the change in connector type, causing products to lose functionality, consumers have moved on in the nine years since, and Lightning is now a household name.
However, these obsolete 30-pin accessories are an example of why the EU is keen to push this proposal through as it seeks to reduce waste on multiple charging cables.
Apple is quickly becoming an outlier when it comes to ports for handheld devices, and Amazon is finally converting its popular Kindle Ereader range to USB-C with its latest generation.
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