Being forced to ditch Lightning would harm customers, says Apple

Being forced to ditch Lightning would harm customers, says Apple
The European Union recently proposed plans to adopt a standardized connector for smartphone charging cables across the political region. If approved, Apple could theoretically be forced to ditch its proprietary Lightning port.

Whether that’s a good thing or not is up for debate, but today the Cupertino-based company has responded and it doesn’t seem too happy with the idea. 

Apple really wants to keep using Lightning


In a statement to Cult of Mac, Apple said that it “stands for innovation and deeply cares about the customer experience” it currently provides to loyal buyers. However, it argues that being forced to adopt a standardized connector would stifle innovation. 

Apple also believes passing such a legislation would unnecessarily disrupt the lives of millions of customers in Europe due to a lack of incompatibility. This, in turn, would create a huge volume of electronic waste – over 1 billion devices have shipped with Lightning – and harm "the economy as a whole" due to the financial consequences this could have on EU member states. 

Additionally, Apple suggests the move is entirely unnecessary right now because the industry is already moving towards a standardized solution in the form of USB-C. Apple currently uses the connector on recent iPad Pro tablets and several power bricks, although it's worth pointing out that there seem to be no plans for a USB-C iPhone anytime soon. 

Instead, Apple is more likely to ditch the physical connector altogether – rumor has it the 2021 iPhone 13 Pro Max will have no ports. This would force customers to purchase wireless chargers instead of the typical cable and brick.

The European Commission plans to release the results of a study on the matter later this month, after which it’ll decide on how to proceed with the matter. Apple hopes the “Commission will continue to seek a solution that does not restrict the industry’s ability to innovate.”

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32 Comments

35. TS020

Posts: 77; Member since: Feb 16, 2019

USB-C to lightning adapters and cables are less than $5 on ebay; hardly a stretch considering what Apple charges for a lightning to 3.5mm dongle. Apple needs a bitch slap

33. FlerpinMahDerp

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 24, 2020

oh shut the f**k up, apple has had free reign making chargers that break after 3 months of use so they can charge you $20 for a new one. We all had to switch from micro usb to usb-c and not a single person complained. since when does apple give any bit of a s**t about their customers happiness anyway?

32. tonyv13

Posts: 131; Member since: Jun 07, 2015

At least European union is doing the right thing. As for Apple lol making it look like they care about the customer.

30. hjl2345

Posts: 121; Member since: Aug 11, 2018

I know Apple makes a metric ton of money with their lightning cables, but to be the devil's advocate. Sure, the lightning cable is a bit dated compared to USB C and so on, but when you think about the average joe, which can't differentiate between an Android or iOS, these kinds of cables are important especially for helping my parents and my grandparents for moving files or photos and so on. If Apple really went completely wireless, it's going to be very confusing for those that are not too tech savvy.

26. dimas

Posts: 3466; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

The law will not hurt innovation, it will hurt apple's proprietary accessories department. Lightning port is already years old, time to slice apple's big profit a little.

21. izim1

Posts: 1622; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

Not like they haven't just switched charging cables from one year to the next, before, or anything..

20. KingSam

Posts: 1554; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

Except its USB 2.0.....

18. painnpanic

Posts: 35; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

Common Cat97! The lightning cable is no different in quality than type-C. There are cheap (Walmart ONN brand) cables for both. Basically you get what you pay for. I have a type-C cable I got with my LG V20 4 years ago and I still use it today. I guess you never used the adapter from lightning to headphone jack.

17. CDexterWard

Posts: 146; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

Ok so: Stifled innovation = smaller profits Electronic waste = EU forced us to change and ditch Lightning Innovation = we forced all wireless, creating electronic waste from Lightning Got it, Apple

16. sun0066

Posts: 289; Member since: Feb 12, 2011

What thoughtful from apple ,the ditch the audio jack and they did not care about customer ,at the end it is not that a charging port will be ditch but changed for one more modern and universal

14. choctawfootball

Posts: 28; Member since: May 04, 2015

But it may also help customers. Apple didn’t say how much it would help customers.

13. geordie8t1

Posts: 345; Member since: Nov 16, 2015

But ipad pro made the switch to USB-C or are you not supposedly concerned about those users as they do not generate as much money as iphones? Hypocrisy

12. D34ever

Posts: 251; Member since: Jul 14, 2018

Good for consumers. Bad for Apple's bottom line.

10. Poptart2828

Posts: 523; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

Lightning cable how ironic. Apple is the slowest charging phone on the market by far yet its called the lightning cable

9. meanestgenius

Posts: 23117; Member since: May 28, 2014

Lmao good joke, Apple. The only thing that gets hurt from this is a portion of Apples profits.

15. Subie

Posts: 2470; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Bang on the money MG. There's also hypocrisy in Apple's statements when they talk about this disrupting the lives of customers because of lack of compatibility. They themselves did this to the customers when they switched to the lightning port for the iPhone 5. I know I remember people complaining about the port change with that same argument at that time...

8. vtpmt81

Posts: 15; Member since: Nov 02, 2018

How does switching to USB-C harm customers? If Apple wants to save waste - why not ship all new phones with a Turbo Charger instead of the slow wasteful 5 watt charger shipped with the iPhone 11? Why switch everything on the MacBook to USB-C and require customers to buy dongles if they cared about customers? Apple - you are a great company that makes really good products but don't sit there and lie about to our faces. You want to hold on to lightning cables because it is your proprietary standard. It has nothing to do with customers.

7. Vancetastic

Posts: 1967; Member since: May 17, 2017

Apple: "Hey! No one but us gets to choose when we hurt our customers!"

6. Cyberchum

Posts: 1148; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Hahahaha hahaha… Classical sarcasm from Apple. When have they truly cared about the customers. Few—if any—for profit setups truly care about customers, and that's capitalism. No surprises. They don't need to lie through their teeth. Like someone pointed out, what happened to the 30-pin connector that lightning succeeded? That change didn't hurt customers but this one would.

5. User123456789 unregistered

Let's suppose Apple puts usb C on iphones. Of course their charger will cost much more than one from Samsung, Motorola, Sony etc ... They do not want you to buy from other brand if yours breaks. This is obvious ....

4. Alcyone

Posts: 654; Member since: May 10, 2018

Lmao. Its Apple. When lightning was implemented, what happend to all the 30 pin connectors, peripherals and such? Trashed, thats what. Hypocrites. I can't see much defense in this defiant stance. They don't wanna lose the royalties from lightning sells. But, they probably won't mind offering an over priced qi (if thats the used standard) pad to loyal fans. The free iphone8 (no strings) tmo gave me will be my last. Tired of the bullheaded moves. I haven't even used my wall plug or cable yet. Lol, let my samsung qi charge it.

3. cevon3239

Posts: 226; Member since: Jan 01, 2020

When Apple says something is gonna hurt customers, it means a lie is coming and that it truly an only about the money. The advantages to USB period have shown Apple's proprietary options to be nothing more than money grabs. I transferred 128GB of music to 2 Android phones back to back, faster than moving just 64GB to an iPhone X. That is pathetic for transfer speed. Lightning I'd also not as versatile as USB Type C where I can using any monitor as a display with just a cable. Things you pay more money for should not be as limited as free stuff.

2. drunkenjay

Posts: 1705; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

hurt the costumers or themselves?

25. DBozz

Posts: 165; Member since: Sep 19, 2019

Ha ha... Its ironic Apple didnt realise customer's pain when they remove 3.5 audio jack! Bulls**t, we have been longing for usb c for almost 3years to get rid of lightening stupid port

1. maherk

Posts: 7102; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Yeah, and I am Queen Elizabeth.

11. Cat97

Posts: 2075; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Actually, the Lightning connector is one of the best connectors around, and I say this as an Android user. The device connector is virtually unbreakable even if you force the cable in from a slight angle. In contrast, the micro-USB and USB-C are very flimsy and the device connector has a very thin internal plastic piece which has all contacts and can easily break. The USB-C connectors are the worst design ever and they can easily become loose on the device-side which ruins the whole device. If anything, I would force every manufacturer to use an Apple-style connector. Much sturdier.

19. D.Aceveda

Posts: 455; Member since: Jun 30, 2012

I'll have whatever this guy is drinking

31. hjl2345

Posts: 121; Member since: Aug 11, 2018

Ah man that guy has been smoking some good kush I bet...

22. sgodsell

Posts: 7679; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Cat97, you must have been born yesterday. That, or you like to show others that you are ignorant fool. USB-C has redundant pins for power, where as lightning ports and cables do not. Plus USB-C has much higher transfer rates. Even if what you said was true about the contacts can easily break. The redundancy comes into play, and will still charge without fail.

24. sgodsell

Posts: 7679; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

What it comes down to, is if Apple put USB-C on every iPhone. Then Apple would have to pay a fee for each iPhone. Lightning is a piece of crap, and should have been abandoned years ago.

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