If you’ve not read about the Apple CarPlay updates that will drop with iOS 16, the gist is that the new operating system will allow your phone to push content to multiple screens, customize the look of the instrument cluster, and even control in-car functions like the A/C. Essentially, CarPlay could take over a car’s native interface—if you’re able to connect your iPhone to your car, that is.
Apple’s current mobile phones are equipped with the proprietary Lightning port. But a new provisional agreement in the European Union wants to make USB Type-C the common charging port for all small and medium-sized electronic devices in the region by autumn 2024.
Establishing a single charging solution for these devices “is part of a broader EU effort to make products in the EU more sustainable, to reduce electronic waste, and make consumers’ lives easier,” said the European Parliament in a statement. Regardless of brand or manufacturer, gadgets like mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, earbuds, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld gaming consoles, and portable speakers must have a USB-C port, with laptops required to follow suit within 40 months after implementation of the measure begins.
“The charging speed is also harmonized for devices that support fast charging, allowing users to charge their devices at the same speed with any compatible charger,” the statement adds.
If the new rules were approved, Apple devices sold in the Europe Union would be required to have a USB-C port. From the brand’s history of streamlined, minimalist designs, it doesn’t seem likely that iPhones for the region would have a USB-C port as well as a Lightning port. And if iPhones adopt the USB-C port in the EU, there’s a good chance the switch would be implemented globally as well.
Having a standardized charging port for mobile and entertainment gadgets is definitely a win for consumers. According to the European Parliament, it will “help consumers save up to €250 million (P14.2 billion) a year on unnecessary charger purchases” and cut down on e-waste. Unused and binned charges make up roughly 11,000 tons of e-waste annually.
Of course, you could do without ports and cables if you wish—some cars already have wireless charging and Wireless Apple CarPlay. But if you still needed to live with cables, a single type for all your devices just makes life so much easier.