Former Apple VP Tony Fadell became known as ‘the father of the iPod’. Although he is no longer affiliated with Apple, he often shares his views on what the company has done. This time, Fadell shared his take on the European Union’s requirement for an iPhone with a USB-C port. The engineer believes that this is the “right” thing to do and that he now sees Apple in a monopolistic position.
Fadell thinks it’s time for USB-C iPhones
The discussion started with a Twitter user questioning whether the iPod would be successful if Apple were forced to use USB 1.0 instead of the then faster FireWire technology. Fadell then responded by saying that the world has “converged to USB-C” as the limits of older standards “have been reached”, but he went much further than that in defending his position.
The former VP of Apple says he’s not worried that the EU is forcing Apple and other smartphone makers to use USB-C and that “they’re just forcing Apple to do the right thing.”
In another tweet, Fadell said the regulation only happened because Apple has a monopoly-like position. The engineer believes that some regulation and standardization in favor of the consumer is necessary, as companies are not always interested in doing the ‘right thing for the best of society’.
He also noted that forcing Apple to change the iPhone connector based on the environmental argument “is much easier than a monopolistic lawsuit.” Fadell then said that Apple doesn’t like third parties dictating what it should do. “This is from the guy who made the 30-pin connector,” he added.
Interestingly, one of his followers pointed out that Apple is against USB-C, as the company makes “a lot of money” from its MFi (Made for iPhone/iPad) program for certified accessories. Fadell, who was behind the program’s invention, suggests he agrees with his follower.
What’s next for the iPhone?
In June, the European Union reached a common agreement to make USB-C the standard connector for devices such as smartphones and tablets. This week, the EU passed final legislation stipulating that from 2024, every device sold in Europe that charges via a cable must have a USB-C port.
The law is based on the argument that having different standards is bad for customers and also for the planet as it leads to more electronic waste.
But the European Union is not alone in forcing Apple to use USB-C in the iPhone. The US Senate and the Brazilian telecom regulator have also considered making USB-C mandatory for smartphones.
Currently, every Mac and almost every iPad sold by Apple already uses USB-C. However, iPhone and accessories like AirPods still rely on the company’s proprietary Lightning connector. Lightning was introduced in 2012 as a better alternative to the Micro USB standard. However, Lightning is now obsolete – and it may not be for much longer.
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