iPhone 15 pro model connected to a MacBook using the USB 3 connector.
  • The iPhone 15 will get a USB-C connector replacing the Lightning connector that Apple introduced with the iPhone 5 in 2012.
  • In 2022, ministers from EU member states gave approval for common charger law mandating electronic devices to support USB-C charging by 2024.
  • EU’s rules are designed to reduce e-waste meaning more reusability of chargers.

Apple will see the most significant shift in its roster of electronic devices by ditching the Lightning connector for the USB-C connector on its iPhones with the launch of the iPhone 15 in line with what European regulators mandated.

iPhone 15 lineup

The rules which got final approval from ministers of EU member states in October of 2022, require that all smartphones should have USB charging as standard by 2024. USB-C plugs are already standard on other devices manufactured by Apple’s competitors such as Samsung and Motorola with the aim of streamlining the charging landscape from needing dongles just to charge a phone.

Although the company had pushed back against the regulations saying it would stifle innovation, the EU is a big enough market that the company wouldn’t want to lose. Defenders of the Lightning connector had cited a rise in e-waste from replacing the Lightning-based adapters already owned by users around the world.

Initially, Apple’s head of marketing, Greg Joswiak had refused to answer questions on the timing of adoption of USB-C on iPhones or on whether the company would attempt to make USB-C iPhones an EU exclusive. However, this was confirmed with the release of the iPhone 15 which showed that the iPhone maker had little choice but to play ball to continue benefiting from the EU market.

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