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Last minute of Apple event

Last minute of Apple event

Jakub Purzycki/NoorPhoto/Getty Images

Apple’s introduction of the iPhone 15 is expected to bring a big change.

The iPhone 15 is widely rumored to ditch Apple’s proprietary Lightning charger in favor of USB-C charging, marking a major milestone for the company in embracing universal charging. Ultimately, the change could simplify the charging process across devices and brands.

The change comes less than a year after the European Union voted to pass legislation requiring smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, portable speakers and other small devices to support USB-C charging by 2024. The first-of-its-kind law aims to reduce the number of chargers and cables that need to be used. Consumers have to deal with it when purchasing a new device and allow users to mix and match devices and chargers even if they are produced by different manufacturers.

“This is probably the biggest change to iPhone design in several years, but it’s not a really dramatic move,” said Ben Wood, an analyst at CCS Insight.

Last year, Apple’s senior vice president of global marketing, Greg Joswiak, publicly highlighted the value and ubiquity of the Lightning charger, designed to charge devices faster, but noted that “obviously we would have to comply” with the EU mandate. .

“We do not have a choice, as is the case around the world, to comply with local laws, but we believe this approach would have been better environmentally and better for our customers if there was no government with this perspective,” he said. Joziak at the conference. time.

The EU decision is part of a larger effort to tackle e-waste generally, but it could lead to more in the near term as people phase out their Lightning cables. (Apple will likely need to develop a Lightning cable recycling program as well.)

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Although Apple has raised environmental concerns about what happens to older Lightning chargers, it also has financial reasons for refusing to change.