Old iPhone cables could soon be rendered useless as Apple may be forced to change its charging lead yet again under new rules.
The European Parliament is currently debating whether to force the adoption of a ‘common charger’ for all new mobile phones – meaning the tech company would have to
If the ruling is approved, Apple would be forced to scrap its popular Lightning connector for a USB-C cable. The EU is due to vote
on the matter “at a future session”, although a date is yet to be confirmed.
If enforced, the tech company would only be compelled to use this common charger in EU countries, but it is likely to also be adopted globally so as to avoid creating a different design for countries not in the EU.
As such, it means Brexit is unlikely to prevent the change for iPhone users in the UK. iPhone fans would be forced to invest in a new charging lead if the switch goes ahead, should they upgrade their handset in future, as the old cables would be rendered useless.
Yet another switch
If a new iPhone cable is introduced, it would mark the third switch for Apple in 13 years.
The company’s first iPhones used a 30-pin dock connector, before it was scrapped for lightning connectors in 2012. When this change was made, iPhone users’ old cables could no longer be used – and the same could be set to happen again.
The EU has called for common chargers to be introduced on phones previously, but now want to enforce the ruling in a bid to reduce electronic waste. The most likely lead for the new charge is a more common USB-C cable, which was launched in mid-2014.
While Lightning ports are used exclusively on Apple devices, most Android phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S10, Google Pixel 4 and OnePlus7 Pro, all now feature USB-C ports.
However, Apple has adopted use of USB-C ports on a number of its products, including new MacBooks and the iPad Pro.
The iPhone 11 which launched last year also features a USB-C tip on one end, although it still joins to the handset using a Lightning connector. Apple is rumoured to be adding USB-C connectors on its upcoming iPhone 12.
Although the tech giant has previously spoken out against proposals to force the adoption of common chargers, telling the EU last year that regulations to drive conformity “freeze innovation, rather than encourage it”.
Apple called the move “unnecessarily disruptive for customers”.