tech

Apple gives a ‘Lightning’ reply to the European Commission, indirectly says no Type-C port for 2020 iPhones

Apple’s statement suggests that removing the Lightning Cable would stifle innovation, for which the company is usually known in the market.

Apple iPhone with Lightning Port.
Apple iPhone with Lightning Port. (Pixabay)

The European Commission has been trying to make all tech companies adopt a single charging method to reduce e-waste since years. And while most brands are now using Type-C chargers for their handsets, Apple is the only major brand that is in the limelight for its Lightning Cable. Despite EC's pressure to use a universal standard charger, Apple has decided to contest it and has indirectly confirmed that Lightning Cables aren't going anywhere.

The decade-old idea was brought up once again by the European Commission and the European Parliament earlier this month (January 13). However, Apple has issued a statement to the Financial Times (via Apple Insider) stating that removing the Lightning Cable would stifle innovation, for which Apple is usually known in the market. The iPhone maker also thinks that the change will cause inconvenience to millions of end users. It claims that moving to a new charging method would cause an "unprecedented volume" of electronic waste.

How will the move increase e-waste?

The company says that not just the cables will add to the e-waste during the migration process but all accessories such as in-car adapters and speakers that use Lightning ports will add to the e-waste pile.

Also read: Apple iPhone 12 could come in a navy-blue colour variant

As for inconvenience, last month Apple commissioned a report by Copenhagen Electronics. The report stated that 49% of the houses use different types of connectors for different devices and only 0.4% say that they "regularly experience any significant issue" due to incompatibility.

"We believe regulation that forces conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphone stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, and would harm consumers in Europe and the economy as a whole," said Apple in a statement to Financial Times. "We hope the Commission will continue to seek a solution that does not restrict the industry's ability to innovate and bring exciting new technology to customers."

Also read: Apple could ditch the notch on its 2020 iPhones

So what does all this mean?

Apple 'fighting' for its Lightning port with the EC even in 2020, somewhere indirectly confirms that these accessories will continue to exist and might as well come in the 2020 iPhones as well. The new iPhones are said to arrive later this year. There's also a rumoured iPhone SE 2 that is said to arrive in the first half of 2020. That is also expected to use the Lightning port.

Apple may have a solution by next year

Apple moved from Dock Connector to Lightning ports with the iPhone 5 that came out in 2012. However, the next step might not be Type-C chargers, which the EC wants. As per the recent research note released by Barclays, Apple may get rid of cables altogether and launch an iPhone with zero ports in 2021. If this is the case, Apple might also remove the wired earphones from the box going forward.