Apple has yielded to the demands of the European Union and introduced a new iPhone lineup featuring a USB-C charger, replacing the Lightning charger ports on its latest models. This change comes after a dispute with the European Union, which has insisted that all phones and small devices must be compatible with USB-C charging cables by the end of next year. The EU argues that this move will reduce waste and save money for consumers.
Apple had previously defended the security of its proprietary cable compared to USB-C chargers, which are already used by Apple on other devices and are widely adopted by competitors, including Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer.
Kaiann Drance, Apple’s Vice President of iPhone Marketing, announced, “USB-C has become a universally accepted standard. So we’re introducing USB-C to the iPhone 15” during a launch event.
This release comes as Apple faces declining iPhone sales, with higher prices causing customers to delay upgrading to newer models. Additionally, the company is embroiled in diplomatic tensions between the United States and China, with reports suggesting that the Chinese government is prohibiting civil servants from using Apple phones.
Although Apple would prefer to highlight new features rather than charging ports, analysts agree that the transition to USB-C is the primary focus.
EU policymakers believe that this rule will simplify the lives of Europeans and eliminate a plethora of outdated chargers. Techsponential analyst Avi Greengart commented, “The cable change may give consumers pause, but within a generation, they will get over it: They won’t have a choice.”
In addition to enhancing iPhone cameras and chips, Apple announced that the iPhone 15, available in four variants, will have internal components designed for easier repair and a new frame that facilitates the replacement of the back glass.
Apple’s willingness to support device repair marks an unexpected shift in its approach. Just last month, the company expressed support for a California law that requires major tech manufacturers to enable users to repair their devices without returning them to the company.
Apple also introduced new models of the Apple Watch that can respond to finger taps, enabling users to initiate and end calls or perform other essential functions.
In the recently concluded quarter, iPhone sales fell short of analyst expectations, with a 2.4 percent decline, accounting for nearly half of the company’s total revenue.
Apple shares faced downward pressure last week following reports of significant restrictions on iPhones in Chinese government offices and state-affiliated entities. Analyst Avi Greengart expressed concern about the Chinese market’s importance to Apple, where the company generated $15.8 billion in revenue during the most recent quarter, constituting nearly 20 percent of its total revenues.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives estimated that a Chinese government ban would impact fewer than 500,000 iPhones out of the approximately 45 million projected to be sold in the country in the coming year. Ives also noted that Apple has made substantial gains in the Chinese smartphone market despite the challenges.