Speaker 1: Just about every new device. These days has USBC charging from Android phones to some iPads and even MacBooks, except for iPhones. Despite the fact that a lot of phone makers have switched to USBC, apple still uses lightning parts on its phones, but that could be changing soon. In June European union lawmakers reached a deal. That'll make USBC the mandatory charger for all phones by fall 2024. This rule will apply to other small and medium sized [00:00:30] devices like tablets, headphones, and digital cameras. The EU has spent a decade trying to require one universal charger. Now that the bid has succeeded, the goal is to curb electronic waste and to reduce hassle for consumers so that people can expect to charge their devices at the same speed, no matter what charger they use. And it's not just small devices that are affected. Laptops will also have to be equipped with a USBC [00:01:00] charging port. By 2026,
Speaker 2: You have a cable that will go to all your devices. So I could plug my headphones in with it. I can charge them. I could plug my phone into it and charge them. I could even eventually maybe charge my laptop with the same cable. So the quote, the Lord of the rings is like one ring to rule them all, one cable to rule them all
Speaker 1: The legislation will also let people choose whether they want to buy a charger with their new device. If they already have a bunch of USBC chargers at home, they can opt out to reduce e-waste for companies [00:01:30] like Samsung, Lenovo, and other manufacturers. This change isn't a big deal because they already use USBC chargers for the majority of their phones and laptops, but it would be a big deal for apple, which would now need to abandon the decade old lightning ports on iPhones in favor of USBC, even though the new measure was passed in Europe, apple would likely need to swap out its charging tech and products sold all over the world. Since it would be too costly to manufacture different versions of the same [00:02:00] phone that said there have been reports suggesting apple is planning to switch to USBC charging on its iPhones within a year or two apple hasn't commented on the EU agreement. The big benefit of USBC is its speed. It could make charging and data transfer on the iPhone much quicker.
Speaker 2: Currently Apple's wired charger with a USBC that plugs into the wall charges at 20 Watts, which is fine, but there are Android phones that can charge it. 60 Watts wired, 85 Watts, 90 Watts, and even [00:02:30] more. And that's where those speeds get really impressive. So now, if you're talking about apple, replacing their lightning port lightning, can't go that fast. So right. There is a benefit. You get faster charging speed.
Speaker 1: Apple has already been shifting over to USBC with a range of its products, including MacBooks and the iPad pro air and mini, but it's never made the leap with its most popular device. The iPhone,
Speaker 2: It's not like apple is against USBC, but with lightning because it's proprietary, apple [00:03:00] has certain controls over it, including its fi program where it does make commission on people and companies that are building accessories that use lightning. So there would be that kind of financial, um, uh, incentive for apple not to switch to SBC
Speaker 1: In the past. Apple has pushed back against the idea of a common phone charger saying the move could stifle innovation and lead to more waste. If people have to abandon their lightning cables. But the EU says introducing a universal charger [00:03:30] would save European consumers up to 250 million euros or 267 million per year. It also estimates that unused and disposed of chargers account for around 11,000 tons of e-waste annually. The EU hopes this new legislation will significantly cut down this figure and make the consumer tech industry more sustainable.
Speaker 2: Ideally, this would reduce the amount of different cables people have and, um, especially proprietary cables like the lightning [00:04:00] cables. So that would over time be lessened even though at upfront, it might actually increase if you think about it, if everyone has to replace the lightning cable
Speaker 1: And while it's not clear, if the us would ever pass a similar rule, the EU decision will likely be felt worldwide because it would be too difficult to make one set of products specifically for European customers. If past changes or any indication, iPhone users will probably have mixed feelings about switching from one charging method to another.
Speaker 2: When apple got [00:04:30] rid of the headphones, Jack people still, that was six years ago and people still reel from that. I can't plug a headphone into my phone. I have to use a dongle or I have to buy these a hundred dollars AirPods to work as opposed to this headphone that I've had. That works fine.
Speaker 1: It's not clear if apple would also provide a dongle. So people with lightning port iPhones could charge using USBC, the iPhone 14, which is expected to be released later in 2022 will likely stick with the lightning port. As wireless charging [00:05:00] slowly becomes more ubiquitous. There have also been rumors of a completely port, less iPhone, but it's not clear when or if those will come true. Also Apple's current Mac safe, wireless charging is much slower than charging with a cable.
Speaker 2: The vision for a wireless feature seems more hopeful in one sense, but also seems like until we get solved, the wireless charging and the fast charging all at once, which is I think what a lot of people are hoping apple will do in response to this. Um, once we get there, then [00:05:30] that feature is possible.
Speaker 1: If anything, this change could create some common ground between iPhone and Android users, at least when it's time to reach for a charger. Thanks so much for watching. Let us know in the comments. If you think this switch is a good idea, would you prefer having one cable for all your devices? And don't forget to hit that like button and subscribe for more content from CNET.