Technology Apple could be forced to abandon its Lightning cable by EU regulators
Apple may be ditching the lightning charging cable for some iPhones by 2021, analyst says
After more than seven years, it could soon be time to bid farewell to Apple's lightning charging cable.The company may ditch the charging cable and port on its premium iPhone models in 2021, Ming-Chi Kuo, a top Apple analyst with TF International Securities, said in a report Thursday. The company will instead opt for a completely wireless device as it aims to better differentiate the more expensive iPhone models, Kuo said. Apple already makes wireless charging docks for iPhone 8 and subsequent models.
European lawmakers are pushing for a universal cellphone charger, arguing it is more environmentally friendly and more convenient for consumers, a move that could bring an end to Apple's exclusive Lightning cable.
Members of the European Parliament are calling for "binding measures for chargers to fit all mobile phones and other portable devices," according to a statement issued onafter a debate.
The common charger could be used for "all mobile phones, tablets, e-book readers and other portable devices," the statement added.
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The policymakers argued the move will reduce electronic waste "and make consumers' life easier," and that old device chargers generate more than 51,000 metric tons of electronic waste every year.
Apple argued in a public feedback form that the proposal would impede innovation and be disruptive for the more than 1 billion consumers using Apple devices with a Lightning cable.
"Regulations that would drive conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones freeze innovation rather than encourage it," the company argued. "Such proposals are bad for the environment and unnecessarily disruptive for customers."
Ditching Lightning for iPhone would cause 'unprecedented' electronic waste, Apple says
The tech giant argued "hundreds of millions" of customers would be affected by a forced switch to USB-C.Apple's iPhones still use Lightning ports.
"We want to ensure that any new legislation will not result in the shipment of any unnecessary cables or external adaptors with every device, or render obsolete the devices and accessories used by many millions of Europeans and hundreds of millions of Apple customers worldwide. This would result in an unprecedented volume of electronic waste and greatly inconvenience users," Apple added.
The proposition was originally introduced more than than five years ago but lawmakers at the time took the approach of encouraging the industry to develop a common charger without any enforcement.
Parliament members argued this week that the "voluntary agreements between different industry players have not yielded the desired results."
The parliament will next hold a vote on the common charger proposal though a date has not been set.
Apple may ditch the Lightning port on a 2021 iPhone .
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is known for his frequently accurate Apple predictions based at least in part on supply channel connections and if he's on the mark this time, he might raise some eyebrows. Kuo has claimed that the "highest-end" 2021 iPhone will ditch the Lightning port in favor of a "completely wireless experience." While there have been portless concept phones before, this might be one of the first production devices (certainly the first iPhone) to go without any cables.It's not clear just how you'd charge an iPhone like this.
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