A United Kingdom government spokesperson says the UK will not follow the European Union’s requirement for smartphones like the iPhone to use USB-C as a common charging system.
The EU directive will require all consumer electronics manufacturers that sell devices in Europe to use a USB-C port on their phones, tablets, laptops, digital cameras, headphones, headsets, handheld videogame consoles, and portable speakers. Only devices that are too small to offer a USB-C port – such as smart watches, health trackers, and other devices and accessories – are exempt from the directive. However, the legislation will be expanded to other devices like laptops over time.
Apple uses the Lightning connector instead of USB-C on many of its devices.
However, BBC News reports that a UK government spokesperson said that “we are not currently considering replicating this requirement.” However, both UK and EU officials say that the common charger requirement will apply to devices sold in Northern Ireland.
The UK lost the protection of EU agreements when it left the Union under “Brexit.” However, Ireland remained in the European Union.
The new regulations will likely cause Apple to move to wireless charging, or possibly sell Lightning to USB-C adapters, rather than produce a separate iPhone model for the EU.