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European Parliament vs Lightning

Back in 2014 the European Parliament passed a Radio Equipment Directive with the aim to reduce Technological waste; old chargers produce more than 51,000 tonnes of waste a year.

“Make USB the standard” with every manufacturer agreeing to the proposal except for one, Apple (https://euobserver.com/science/144538).

So technologically let us look at why Apple continue to use the “Lightning Port” on the iPhone, after all half of other Apple devices have USB-C. (https://www.cnet.com/news/apple-iphone-12-didnt-get-usb-c-itll-never-happen/)

  • Speed – Apple has not released full specifications of Lightning Connectors, but tests show they are around that of USB 2.0 (480mbps (Megabits per second)). Compare that with USB-C 3.0 which has transfer speeds of up to 5Gbps (Gigabits per second). If my math is correct, USB-C is over 10 times faster.
  • Fast Charging – a feature that is standard in most Androids is not supported by the Lightning Cable
  • Cost – Its proprietary so cables and accessories for Apple are more expensive than its USB-C equivalent. People often resort to cheaper alternatives which can potentially damage the device.

Apple claim the transition will be costly to themselves and it is understood that they will not be rushing to release an iPhone with a built in USB-C connection, after all a lighting to USB adapter is just an extra cable.

In my opinion should the change be made, the consumer automatically gains by being able to leverage affordable technology and a broader spectrum of software.

Surely a collaboration between the giants would result in a better service and  product which the consumer is entitled to, and of course let us not forget the environmental benefits.


Business Insider