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Apple may be facing a challenge in complying with a recent European Union (EU) regulation that mandates the use of USB-C ports for devices with wired charging in the region. The law, which was passed last year, gives Apple until December 28, 2024, to make the switch from Lightning to USB-C, but the change is expected to happen with the release of the iPhone 15 models later this year.
Rumors have been circulating since February that Apple may limit the charging speeds and other functionality of USB-C cables that are not certified under its “Made for iPhone” program. This move would be similar to the authentication chip found in the Lightning port on existing iPhones. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the company may optimize the fast charging performance of MFi-certified chargers for the iPhone 15.
However, in response to this rumor, European Commissioner Thierry Breton has sent a letter to Apple warning the company that limiting the functionality of USB-C cables would not be permitted under the EU regulation. The letter states that such a move would prevent iPhones from being sold in the EU when the law goes into effect. The EU has also reportedly warned Apple during a meeting in mid-March.
It’s worth noting that the EU intends to publish a guide by the third quarter of this year to ensure a “uniform interpretation” of the legislation. But with Apple potentially facing a challenge to its plans, it remains to be seen whether or not the company will move forward with the alleged strategy.
It’s also important to note that iPads with USB-C ports do not have an authentication chip for this purpose, suggesting that Apple may be able to find a way to comply with the EU regulation without limiting the functionality of uncertified USB-C cables connected to iPhone 15 models.
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Regardless of how this situation plays out, it is clear that Apple is facing increasing pressure from regulatory bodies around the world to standardize its charging ports. As we reported earlier this year, the company is also facing a similar challenge from lawmakers in the US who are pushing for the adoption of a universal charging standard. Apple has yet to comment on the situation in Europe or on its plans for the iPhone 15 models.