- Apple says it will eventually standardize around USB-C charging cables since it has no choice.
- It follows a decision of the European Union EU to create a mandatory charging standard for small electronic devices.
Speaking at the WSJ Tech Live Conference, Greg Joswiak, Senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple, explained the position of Apple. His revelation followed the latest EU decision to require all manufacturers to use USB-C for charging small electronic devices such as iPhones by the end of 2024.
Apple already seems to have started moving toward the adoption of USB-C. iPads, Macs, and even the most recently introduced AirPods Pro 2 all make use of the interconnect. Apple is also visibly exploring how to make wireless charging an effective remedy for power despite the public failure of its AirPower attempt.
Joswaik explained that Apple continues to view the decision, no matter how well-intentioned, as a threat to future innovation.
Apple’s perspective seems to be that cables that can be detached from the power brick mostly solve the standardization challenge, as users can connect any cable to it. That almost makes sense in circumstances in which the bricks carry support for many interconnects, but the truth is most do not provide this.
According to the EU, disposed of and unused chargers account for around 11,000 tons of e-waste every year. Joswiak also pointed out that while trying to reduce e-waste by moving to USB-C, the EU may have increased it.
He noticed that over a billion iPhone chargers with Lightning connections had been sold so far, and all those cables will now presumably be taking that journey to e-waste stacks. Apple made the same argument in 2021 when the move would both increase waste and may also choke innovation. Joswiak said that over a billion people have Lightning already.