Apple has confirmed that iPhones with USB-C charging ports will comply with EU law.
But the company doesn’t seem happy with the move, saying it has no other choice.
Currently, the law says that all mobile phones and tablets must have a USB-C port by the fall of 2024.
Apple has confirmed that an iPhone with a USB-C port will comply with a new European Union law, but it doesn’t seem too happy about it.
Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of global marketing, said the company will “obviously” be forced to “comply with” the EU rule, speaking with reporter Joanna Stern at The Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference. .
“We don’t have a choice,” Joswiak said in response to Stern’s question about when USB-C iPhones are coming. He did not say whether iPhones and other Apple products sold outside the EU will also have the USB-C port.
The law requires “all mobile phones, tablets and cameras sold in the EU” to have a USB-C port by the fall of 2024.
Joswiak said he “don’t mind governments telling us what they want to achieve,” but that Apple has “pretty smart engineers” to figure out the technical ways to get things done.
One example, he said, was when the US government created a cell phone regulation to comply with hearing aid compatibility, which he said didn’t work.
“We came up with a new way to make hearing aids for the iPhone, even made it an industry standard that actually worked,” said Joswiak.
Apple and the EU have been “arguing” over the push to USB-C for more than 10 years, Joswiak said, recognizing that he understands the EU wants to “achieve a good cause” in reducing e-waste. However, he said Apple’s detachable charging cables with USB-compatible power adapters make it easy for anyone to use the cable that works with their device.
“More than a billion people” use Apple’s chargers, Joswiak said, adding that if people throw away their Lightning cables, more e-waste is created. Discarded and unused chargers make up an estimated 11,000 tons of e-waste annually, the European Parliament said, adding that having the universal USB-C charger could save consumers up to €250 million a year by not having to buy different chargers .
“We think the approach would have been more environmentally friendly and it would be better for our customers if the government wasn’t so prescriptive,” said Joswiak.
Apple did not respond to Insider’s request for comment immediately before publication.
Apple is one of the top providers of smartphones in Europe and has about 23% of the smartphone market share there. The Verge has previously pointed out that Apple could make iPhones that have wireless charging, which would be a loophole for the USB-C requirement, but it sounds like Apple is opting for a port — at least for now.
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