Apple could be forced to remove the Lightning charging and data port on its iPhone in favor of a USB-C port if legislation expected to be presented by the European Commission comes to pass.
Reuters reports the legislation will require manufacturers to use a common charging port for mobile devices in all European Union countries. Apple will be hit the hardest by the impending legislation, as many popular Android devices already feature USB-C ports. The Commission had tried to reach a final resolution on the issue in 2018 but failed.
Apple warned that the EU’s push for a common charger would hurt innovation and lead to a substantial increase in electronic waste if consumers were forced to switch to new chargers.
A 2019 European Commission impact assessment study found that half of all charging cables sold with mobile phones had a USB micro-B connector, 29% had a USB-C connector, and 21% had a Lightning connector. The study suggested five options for a common charger, with various options that cover ports on devices and ports on power adapters.
Last year, the European Parliament voted in favor of a common charger, saying it would result in less environmental waste and offer user convenience.
The executive branch of the European Union is currently drafting the legislation and it is expected to be presented next month.