Apple has been under a lot of pressure to replace the Lightning connector with the USB-C standard on the iPhone. After the European Union decided that USB-C would become mandatory for mobile devices and US senators considered a similar policy, Brazil may now be the next country to force Apple to build a USB-C iPhone.
As I mentioned TechnoblogThe Brazilian regulatory agency (also known as Anatel) has proposed new requirements for smartphone manufacturers when it comes to the charging port. Anatel believes that USB-C enables “greater convenience for consumers” and that it will also help reduce waste as users can actually reuse their power adapters no matter what device they have.
Since most Android smartphones already come with a USB-C port, the project is clearly concerned about the USB-C iPhone.
However, in Brazil, the project is focused on smartphones (at least for the time being). Anatel says USB-C will not be required for devices that can only be recharged via wireless charging. On the other hand, the EU will also require USB-C as a standard for tablets, cameras and other accessories such as headphones and portable speakers.
For now, Anatel’s proposal is still in the public consultation stage, which means any Brazilian – including tech companies – can share their views on the project that will make USB-C mandatory for smartphones. Opinions can be submitted until August 26, 2022. If the proposal is approved, USB-C will become mandatory on smartphones sold in Brazil from July 1, 2024.
This, of course, will force Apple to create USB-C iPhone models if the company has plans to keep its products available in Brazil.
The US also wants a USB-C iPhone
Earlier this month, a group of senators urged the US Department of Commerce to adopt a similar policy aimed at addressing the “lack of interoperability standards for charging and other hardware accessories.”
The letter, signed by Senators Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, also argues that having different smartphone standards leads to more electronic waste and environmental damage, while also hurting consumers who have to buy new chargers. Senators have described Apple’s Lightning connector as an “example of planned obsolescence.”
It’s not clear when or even if the US government will take the senators’ request forward, but given the recent antitrust investigations involving Apple, that seems likely. Given that the US is Apple’s primary market, this will likely lead to Apple selling the USB-C iPhone everywhere.
Apple may already be working on it
Earlier this year, both analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg Journalist Mark Gurman reports that Apple is internally testing new iPhone models with USB-C instead of Lightning. Unfortunately, there are no indications of a USB-C iPhone launching this year, so Apple will probably wait until 2023 to make the switch.
After all, it seems very unlikely that Apple would create a USB-C iPhone for certain countries. In addition to the USB-C iPhone, Apple is also reportedly working on new AirPods Pro with a USB-C port in the charging case.
The Lightning connector was introduced in 2012 with the iPhone 5 as a modern replacement for the old 30-pin iPod connector. However, since 2015, Apple has been slowly introducing USB-C to its products. It started with MacBooks, and now USB-C is pretty much present in all Macs and iPads. It’s strange to think that there is no USB-C iPhone yet.
according to 9to5Mac’s Sources, Apple is expected to release a new iPad with USB-C later this year, while the current 9th generation iPad still features a Lightning port. This change will mark the end of the Lightning connector in the iPad lineup, and another step toward the end of Lightning on all Apple devices.
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