What it means for iPhone and Android smartphone users

Government mandates USB-C charging port: what it means for iPhone and Android smartphone users

Follows in the European UnionFollowing in the footsteps of making USB-C chargers mandatory for all electronics, the Indian government is also moving in a similar direction. The government has further elaborated its plan to standardize charging ports for smartphones, laptops and tablets in India. As part of this, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) – the body responsible for the quality certification of electronics and gadgets in the country – formalizes charging standards in the country.

Why ordinary chargers for electronics
The Consumer Affairs Department says the goal is: consumer interests and reducing e-waste. The EU also claims similar reasons for making USB type-C mandatory. It has argued that the change will have a positive effect on the environment. Two charging standards for electronic devices have been considered in India.

As for the timeline of the rollout, a phased rollout of the plan has been agreed, so that consumers are not affected by the transition.

According to Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh, India will align with the European Union (EU) timeline i.e. December 28, 2024 “because the mobile phone and electronics manufacturers have a global supply chain and are not supplying only to India.”

What does this mean for Android users?
Most Android smartphone manufacturers don’t need to worry about this mandate as their phones already come equipped with USB-C charging ports. In fact, most earphones, laptops, tablets, etc. sold in India have USB-C ports. The handful that still offer micro-USB ports will have to move to the new standard by the deadline.

What does it mean for Apple?
Apple is one company that will be hardest hit by the new mandate. The iPhone maker is the largest phone manufacturer that has not switched to USB-C for wired charging. Apple’s objection is that if the company moves to USB-C, there will be e-waste because millions of users will have to switch to the new standard and throw away their Lightning cables.

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Earlier this year, Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president, global marketing, said at The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ Tech Live event that the company “obviously needs to comply” with the EU mandate that speaks to the ruling.

Apple may never bring USB-C charging to iPhones
People are watching Apple to see the tech giant bring the USB-C port to its phones or work its way around the mandate to bring something that won’t affect its long-term plans. Industry experts have already hinted that Apple is working towards an all-wireless future where the solution is expected to be as efficient as wired charging.

In addition, the time given by the EU and India may be enough for Apple to master its wireless technology. So instead of moving to USB-C, the company may move to wireless charging on all of its products.

Apple usually holds the iPhone launch event in the month of September, therefore it may not need to release USB-C until 2025 as the presumed iPhone 16 series is expected to debut in September 2024. Since the latest date is December 28, 2024, we might also see an iPhone with USB-C in September 2025 if Apple doesn’t come up with the expected wireless fixes.