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USB-C on iPhone latest – Apple exec confirms upcoming change

It’s only a matter of weeks since we last reported on the will-they-won’t-they saga of USB-C on iPhone, but we now have official word that Apple will be making the change before long.

The company has thus far neglected to integrate the universal charger into iPhones, despite being part of the consortium that developed USB-C and using it on all iPads and Macs of the past few years.

Whether that’s because Apple doesn’t want to obsolete millions of Lightning chargers and accessories, or simply because it’s holding out until wireless technology is good enough to develop a fully port-free iPhone, we don’t know for sure.

But the EU recently passed a law stating that all gadget makers had to incorporate USB-C, and an Apple exec just confirmed that the company reluctantly plans to make the change. VP of Worldwide Marketing, Greg “Joz” Joswiak, told the Wall Street Journal that Apple won’t try to get around the law. “Obviously, we’ll have to comply. We have no choice.” He also criticized the EU for forcing Apple’s hand, saying their e-waste argument doesn’t hold water.

It’s rare for an Apple representative to confirm details of a future device like this, but it’s certainly news we’re happy to hear. Though a minor annoyance in the short term – like the switch away from the iPhone’s original 30-pin connector a decade ago – USB-C is superior to Lightning in every way, and having one type of cable that charges practically every device in your home is surely a win for consumers and the environment alike.

Exactly when this change will come into effect is less sure, though. EU legislation doesn’t mandate the USB-C port until late 2024, meaning if Apple leaves it as long as legally possible, we won’t see the death of the Lightning port until the iPhone 17 rolls around in 2025. There’s also a chance Apple will create a variant iPhone just for European customers, sticking with Lightning in the US. A regional variation might seem unlikely, but it’s not without precedent.

But with the change clearly on Apple’s mind, hopefully we’ll see the band-aid ripped off a little sooner, perhaps in time for next year’s iPhone 15 range.