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The reason Apple has not removed the Lightning port on the iPhone

Apple may lose some of its revenue, as well as lose control of the issue of third-party accessories, if the iPhone uses a USB-C port.

On June 6, the European Union (EU) united new regulations, which requires electronic devices sold in this market to use USB-C from 2024. The regulation still needs to be approved by parliament by the end of the year, but it is only a formality. The new law is expected to affect iPhones with Lightning ports the most, because other Android smartphones have long switched to USB-C.

Apple still uses the Lightning port for iPhones.  Photo: Makeuseof

Apple currently uses the Lightning port for iPhones. Image: Makeuseof

The Lightning port was first introduced by Apple on the iPhone 5 in 2012 to replace the 30-pin port. Follow The Verge, the biggest reason why Apple kept Lightning is control. The US company now uses MFi (made for iPhone/iPad/iPod) certificates to control third-party manufacturers. Qualified accessories must have this certification from Apple.

If you switch to the USB-C universal standard, Apple will likely lose control of accessory quality. Using different accessories by users could expose them to shoddy goods, potentially affecting Apple’s devices and reputation.

Apple has repeatedly emphasized that being forced to switch to USB-C will stifle innovation. “We’re concerned that the single-port regulation will stifle innovation, harming consumers in Europe and around the world,” Apple said in a statement. Bloomberg last year.

Follow Makeuseof, the driving force behind Apple keeping the Lightning port lies in the profit of selling accessories. If the company switched to USB-C, the company would no longer have revenue from Lightning cables. Currently, the company sells a one-meter USB-A to Lightning converter cable for iPhones for $ 19.

Most smartphones on the market have switched to USB-C ports.  Photo: The Verge

USB-C ports are common on smartphones. Image: The Verge

From the EU’s point of view, the unified use of USB-C helps to reduce e-waste, thereby protecting the environment. Apple believes that replacing the charging port on the iPhone is wasteful because users have to buy a new charging cord, which risks creating more electronic waste in the near future.

What will Apple do?

Europe is one of the important markets, contributing a quarter of Apple’s profits in 2021, so the company will not give up this market. Makeuseof The most likely thing is that Apple will develop two iPhone variants: one using a USB-C port for the European market, the other using Lightning. However, such hardware separation would likely increase production costs.

According to “rumor expert” Mark Gurman, Apple is testing an iPhone model with a USB-C port and will soon launch it next year, before the EU regulations take effect.

The second solution is to develop a portless iPhone. In fact, EU law only applies to wired charging, so Apple can circumvent the law by selling iPhones with MagSafe technology. However, this is not optimal, as millions of users are forced to switch to new chargers, causing tons of electronic waste to be generated. Not to mention, MagSafe makes data transfer slower, as well as inconvenient to use.

Apple has not yet commented on the new EU regulation.

Bao Lam

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