Apple is under a lot of pressure as multiple places are demanding that the Lightning connector be replaced with a USB-C standard interface on the iPhone. After the European Union decided that USB-C would become a mandatory standard for mobile devices and U.S. senators considered a similar policy, Brazil may now be the next country to force Apple’s iPhone to use the USB-C interface.
According to Tecnoblog, Brazil’s regulator (Anatel) has imposed new requirements on smartphone makers regarding charging ports, and Anatel believes that USB-C could “provide greater convenience for consumers” and also help reduce waste as users can reuse their power adapters.
However, in Brazil the requirement only applies to smartphones (at least for now), and Anatel says that for devices that can only be charged wirelessly, the USB-C interface will not be required. By way of contrast, the EU will also require USB-C as an interface standard for tablets, cameras and other accessories such as headphones and portable speakers.
Anatel’s proposal is currently in the public consultation phase, which means that any Brazilian, including tech companies, can share their opinion on this project to make USB-C mandatory for smartphones. Comments can be submitted to Anatel by August 26, 2022, and if the proposal is approved, the USB-C interface will be mandatory for smartphones sold in Brazil starting July 1, 2024.
Earlier this month, a group of senators urged the U.S. Department of Commerce to adopt a similar policy aimed at addressing “the lack of interoperability standards for charging and other device accessories. The letter, signed by Senators Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, also argues that having different standards on smartphones leads to more e-waste and environmental damage, while also hurting consumers who have to buy new chargers. The senators called Apple’s Lightning connector “an example of planned obsolescence.
It’s unclear when or if the U.S. government will move forward with the senators’ request, but given the recent antitrust investigation involving Apple, it’s still a possibility.
Earlier this year, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman both reported that Apple had been internally testing a new iPhone model that would use the USB-C interface instead of the current Lightning. But there’s no indication that a USB-C iPhone will be released this year.
IT House has learned that the Lightning interface was introduced with the iPhone 5 in 2012, but since 2015, Apple has been slowly introducing the USB-C interface to its products, starting with MacBooks, and now the USB-C interface is present in almost all Macs and iPads, so it’s odd that there isn’t a USB-C iPhone yet. It’s a strange existence.
According to 9to5Mac’s sources, Apple is expected to release a new entry-level iPad with a USB-C connector later this year, while the current ninth-generation iPad still uses the Lightning connector. This would represent the end of the Lightning connector on the iPad product line and another step toward the end of the Lightning connector on all Apple devices.