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Apple feels pressure over mandatory USB-C cable chargers

The majority of phones sold in the EU and around the world are Android devices.

In Summary

• The majority of phones sold in the EU and around the world are Android devices.

• These proposals, if passed are likely to impact Samsung, Huawei as well as other phone and accessory makers.

A USB Type-C charger (right) beside Apple's proprietary Lightning cable
A USB Type-C charger (right) beside Apple's proprietary Lightning cable
Image: BBC

Apple is feeling the pressure following European Union's decision to adopt a standard charging port for mobile phones, tablets and headphones.

The EU decreed mandatory usage of USB-C cables for mobile devices which means the cable would become the universal charger for mobile phones, tablets, headphones, e-readers, low-powered laptops, keyboards, computer mice, earbuds, smart watches, and electronic toys.

Unlike Android devices which use the USB-C cables, Apple phones use a lightning cable.

The majority of phones sold in the EU and around the world are Android devices.

Already, countries around the world are developing timelines to adopt the EU policy with Brazil likely to be the next country to force Apple to build USB-C iPhones.

According to Tecnoblog, the Brazilian regulatory agency, USB-C will become mandatory on smartphones sold in Brazil as of July 1, 2024.

However, Apple has warned that the EU push for a common charger would hurt innovation and create a mountain of electronic waste if consumers were forced to switch to new chargers.

These proposals, if passed, are likely to impact Samsung, Huawei as well as other phone and accessory makers.

Apple only uses USB-C on its gadgets like MacBook’s and iPads, Samsung uses it on its phones, and many PC manufacturers rely on it for laptops.

It also offers wider compatibility and it is preferred for fast charging and data transfers.

As the USB type C and lighting battle plays out, competition from other alternative technologies such as micro-USB is also real, presenting an obstacle for market players for phones that have neither.