Even if the EU wants to unify the usb-c specification, the iPhone will continue to use the lightning interface

Some time ago, there was a rumor on the Internet that "the European Union will introduce a compulsory unified use of usb-c interface". Many people speculated whether Apple, which has always insisted on using lightning, would make a sharp turn in this year's policy and replace the iPhone interface with usb-c.


However, although there are all kinds of conjectures and arguments on the Internet about the possibility of replacing the iPhone interface, whether Apple will replace the iPhone interface due to this need to carefully read the EU rule.
Here's the thing


On January 13, the European Commission held a meeting to plan to use usb-c as the interface of power adapter in the European Union to replace usb-a which has been used for many years. The EU's introduction of this rule is to reduce the troubles of consumers in their travel and life, and at the same time reduce the e-waste caused by interface replacement. Although there are only three kinds of power adapter interfaces on the market, there are still as many as 51000 metric tons of chargers scrapped every year.



Some electronic garbage pictures are from: CNET

On the other hand, Margrethe vestager, head of EU antitrust, said in a statement in 2018 that the unified interface would help the EU advance mobile phone manufacturers' actions on universal chargers. In fact, this is not the first time that the EU has promoted the unification of charger interface specifications. As early as 2009, the EU signed a memorandum requiring all mobile phone power adapters to use usb-a specification interface.

However, it may be because there is high expectations for the iPhone to use usb-c, and as soon as the statement comes out, there is a rumor that Apple will replace the iPhone's lightning interface as a compromise on the new EU rules. In fact, the EU did not specify that all devices should use usb-c in the statement, but only the power adapter must use usb-c as a universal charger format.

So the new EU rules will not affect lightning's presence in Apple devices.

Interface specification of Apple charger


On the one hand, apple only uses lightning in devices, including mobile phones, tablets, headphones, etc. in the device, and it is not used on power adapter. The EU refers to the power adapter requirements do not specify the interface of the device itself, so Apple needs to replace the device charger interface specification, not the device itself.

In addition, Apple has also configured usb-c chargers on the iPhone 11 Pro Series, iPad pro and MacBook series according to the charger specifications, which has met the requirements of the new EU regulations. Except for iPhone 11 and a few devices still use usb-a specification charger, other devices are standard with usb-c specifications.

The iPhone 11 Pro is equipped with 18W usb-c CHARGER + cable, while iPhone 11 is still a 5W usb-a CHARGER + cable
So the new EU regulation is not about Apple devices themselves, but the format of the charger and its paired cable interface. At present, usb-a cable and data cable are equipped for iPhone 11, apple watch and iPad. After the new EU regulations are introduced, the random attached cables and chargers of these devices will be expected to become usb-c.

Of course, we have analyzed more than once about why Apple has been "persistent" in lightning interface. One of the important reasons is that apple can gain a considerable sales and authorization revenue of accessories by virtue of its control over lightning interface.

On the other hand, Apple will not change the lightning interface that has been applied in mobile phones, tablets, headphones and other accessories in case of no big disadvantage in lightning compared with usb-c. after all, the change of interface brings about changes in device morphology, and the problem of ecological fragmentation of interface should be considered. If it is not "one-stop" to replace all lightning with usb-c, Apple will not change lightning interface in a large way. After all, the interface will bring about changes in device morphology. If it is not "one size fits all" to replace all lightning with usb-c Usb-c, so users actually need to bring two kinds of cable.

So, we can see more about Apple's classification of interfaces: lightning is used in most of the daily applications, while usb-c (iPad pro and MacBook) is the device that is given the attribute of productivity tool. In addition to the need for higher power current input, it also needs more efficient transmission speed. This is the comparison of usb-c interface Lightning's absolute advantage is also the place to differentiate Apple's similar devices.

Using usb-c interface iPad pro, you can directly connect Sony camera to export photos


In the end, the new EU rules will not affect the interface of Apple devices themselves, but will push apple to standard usb-c interface chargers in subsequent devices (5W chargers may also be replaced). It is not good to say whether Apple will use usb-c on iPhone, because there are many signs that Apple should develop its future devices to "no interface" rather than replace interfaces.


Although you and I all hope usb-c will appear on this year's iPhone, Apple seems to be pursuing something more than we think.