APPLE appears to be on the verge of switching the charger you need to juice up your iPhone.
The change could be introduced with next year’s iPhone 14 and would render current iPhone cables useless with the new model.
Apple could be forced to ditch the Lightning port under new EU proposals[/caption]
Why would Apple change the iPhone charger?
It’s a good time to start saving up for a new iPhone charger – as you may be forced to buy one sooner rather than later.
Multiple leaks and rumours hint that Apple is gearing up to swap out the iPhone’s current lightning port in favour of a USB-C port.
The move would force Apple to switch to USB-C cables – and ditch the company’s own Lightning connector.
Most Android smartphones already use USB-C, which charges much faster than Lightning and transfers data at higher speeds.
Apple has itself adopted the technology for more recent Macbook and iPhone models – and whispers suggest the iPhone is next.
That’s in part because EU chiefs are pushing ahead with plans to force Apple and other smartphone makers to share a common charger.
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The European Commission in September issued a legal proposal to harmonise the charging points on mobiles and other devices – including the iPhone.
The legislation would compel Apple to use a USB-C port on all iPhones, iPads, and AirPods in Europe.
The switch would render current iPhone cables useless with the new model, and force fans to buy new spare leads if they upgrade their handset.
It would also mean replacing any Lightning connector accessory, or buying an adaptor.
A number of reports have suggested that the swap could come with the iPhone 14, which is expected to hit shelves next September.
Why does the EU want a common charger?
The European Union executive and EU lawmakers have been pushing for a common charger for over a decade.
They say it would be better for the environment and more convenient for users.
That’s because European citizens would not be forced to throw away old cables when they migrate between, for instance, Apple and Android handsets.
The Commission wants the sale of chargers to be decoupled from devices, and also propose a harmonised charging port, Reuters reports.
Apple has said rules forcing connectors to conform to one type could deter innovation, create a mountain of electronic waste and irk consumers.
Rival Android-based devices are charged using USB-C connectors.
Half the chargers sold with mobile phones in 2018 had a USB micro-B connector, while 29 per cent had a USB-C connector and 21 per cent a Lightning connector, according to a 2019 Commission study.
What does Apple say about the change?
Apple has previously spoke out against the proposals, citing an ecosystem of “1billion Apple devices” that use a Lightning charger.
“Legislation would have a direct negative impact by disrupting the hundreds of millions of active devices and accessories used by our European customers and even more Apple customers worldwide, creating an unprecedented volume of electronic waste and greatly inconveniencing users,” the firm said.
In its complaints, Apple has cited previous EU efforts to force all gadget makers to use Micro USB chargers.
Although once popular, Micro USB chargers have quickly fallen out of favour – replaced by more advanced technology.
“Prior to 2009, the Commission considered mandating that all smartphones use only USB Micro-B connectors which would have restricted the advancement to Lightning and USB Type-C,” said Apple.
“Instead, the Commission established a voluntary, industry standards-based approach that saw the market shift from 30 chargers down to three, soon to be two — Lightning and USB-C, showing this approach does work.
Apple also says that the industry is “already moving” to USB-C anyway – so setting a precedent of regulation isn’t necessary.
In other news, Apple has announced that it will let customers fix their own iPhones for the first time starting next year.
The UK is fighting an epidemic of hack attacks targeting consumers and businesses, according to officials.
NASA has slammed Russia after a missile it fired into one of its own satellites forced the space station to perform an emergency swerve.
And, a 75-year-old Brit has told of his anger after scammers on WhatsApp fooled him into sending them hundreds of pounds.
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