Apple has been a fan of slapping proprietary ports on its hardware for many years now, forcing customers to buy accessories and add-ons that are either made by the company itself or one of its approved partners.
This could all change in the near future, as a result of a ruling by the European Parliament which will require smartphones and portable devices of all kinds to use the same, universal charger.
Change of pace
All current iPhone handsets take advantage of the Lightning port to provide power to the battery, as well as to double up as a wired form of data transfer when hooked up to a Mac or PC. The passing of this new resolution by the EU will mean that in Europe at least, Apple will need to change the designs of its devices to accommodate USB-C connections instead.
USB-C has become standard across many Android devices, although it is not too long ago that every mobile manufacturer opted for its own proprietary connection type, which caused consternation amongst plenty of customers.
The change will benefit consumers, since being able to share chargers from device to device will become a breeze. It will also mean that if a charger or the gadget itself breaks, it will be easy to swap to a new one without worrying about compatibility.
At a time when more people are aware of the need to make sustainable choices when it comes to their gadget buying habits, such as getting iPhone insurance to protect their device from steep repair costs, this move to unify the wired connections on mobiles will definitely be welcomed.
Apple has already spent the past decade trying to wriggle out of having to adhere to EU rules on charger types, as a similar rule rolled out back in 2009 was sidestepped when it simply required the inclusion of adapters in the box with all of phones.
The speed with which this new regulation will come into effect is likely to be an issue for Apple and other firms that have yet to adopt USB-C as their charging connection of choice, since the deadline for compliance is July this year.
Some experts are concerned that Apple might end up killing off its lower end iPhones as a result of this, or at least it may stop selling them in EU member nations.
Even so, while there may be some issues that Apple needs to iron out as it adapts to adhere to EU rules, the fact that it already makes wide use of USB-C connections on its laptops and desktop devices shows that it should have the ability to add the same tech to its iPhone range. Those manufacturers which target the budget end of the market, on the other hand, might have a tougher time making the leap since the cost of using USB-C ports is still higher than sticking to the older, if less effective, micro-USB charger format.