The European Union, EU Commissioner for the internal market, Thierry Breton, has issued a strict warning to Cupertino regarding the potential introduction of USB-C on iPhones.
The top EU official has warned Apple it cannot put limits on competitor charging cables for its new iPhones, according to reports.
Recall, the law passed in October last year, requires all mobile phones, tablets, cameras, and other small- or medium-sized electronics sold in the EU to have a USB-C charging port by December 2024.
Breton has stated that if USB-C is introduced on iPhones, there must be no limitations or blocks of any kind. In a letter, according to German news agency DPA, Breton said if the tech giant tries to hamper the functionality of rival cables, the sale of iPhones could be prevented in the European Union. Failure to comply with this could result in the EU responding with a sales ban.
Under new EU legislation, USB-C charging ports are to become standard across all electronic devices from the end of 2024. Apple may already be considering introducing USB-C with the iPhone 15 since it’s expected to adapt to the change with the release of its iPhone 15,
But rumors suggest that they are exploring ways to monetize the switch. One of the ways being considered is the Made for iPhone (Mfi) certification. It would ensure that top-up speed and full data transfer are only possible with certified accessories. This would limit the reduction in turnover caused by the obligation to comply with the single connector, the USB-C, to Cupertino and also limit charging and data transfer through competitor cables.
If this was the case, iPhone users could have found that cables not certified under Apple’s “Made for iPhone” programme performed less well than Apple versions, with potential limits on charging speed and data transfers. A small chip inside the USB-C port would be able to verify whether the charger was an Apple product.
However, the rumours have never been confirmed by Apple. The company did not respond immediately to a request for comment on Friday.
Mr Breton, who is the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, responded to the reports by writing a letter to Apple, warning them against making some functions available only for its own cables.
The technology is a long-standing feature of Apple products, appearing on every handset since the iPhone 5 was released in 2012. However, its iPad range has used the USB-C since 2018.