The iPhone will support USB-C charging in the European Union to comply with a new ruling that mandates electronic devices have a common charging standard, an Apple executive said Tuesday night.
“Obviously we will have to comply,” Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said at the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference, in the first remarks from a company official since the ruling came out Monday.
“We have no choice, like we do around the world, to comply with local laws, but we think the approach would have been better environmentally and better for our customers to not have a government be that prescriptive,” he said.
EU member states voted on Monday to approve legislation that would require smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, portable speakers and other small devices to support USB-C charging by 2024. The first-of-its-kind law aims to streamline the number of chargers and cables consumers must contend with when they purchase a new device, and to allow users to mix and match devices and chargers even if they were produced by different manufacturers.
The law would effectively require Apple (AAPL) to move away from the proprietary Lightning charger it uses for devices in the EU, and could potentially extend to devices Apple (AAPL) sells in other markets as well if the company decides to streamline its products globally.
Joswiak called the European government “well meaning” and said, “I get the fact that they want to accomplish a good thing.” But he stressed the value and ubiquity of the Lightning charger, which is designed for faster device charging.
“It’s been a great connector and over a billion people have it already — [they] have the cables and have what they need, have the infrastructure in their homes, have the speakers, and have an ecosystem that works with it,” Joswiak said.
“I don’t mind governments telling us what they want to accomplish,” he said, “but usually we have some pretty smart engineers that help us figure out how to accomplish them technically.”