Greg Joswiak, Apple’s Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing, confirmed the company must comply with the recent ruling. In June the European Union mandated that mobile devices such as phones, tablets, cameras, and handheld gaming consoles, will be required to include a USB-C charging port as of Autumn 2024. The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern asked Greg Joswiak if Apple was planning on replacing its Lightning port to which he replied that they obviously will have to comply, and have no choice. The discussion took place during a WSJ Tech Live conference focused on products, privacy, and power at Apple.
When asked about when Apple would transition over to USB-C Joswiak only referred to the law’s deadline.
As transcribed by The Verge:
The wording in the law, “insofar as they are capable of being recharged via wired charging,” does emphasize that devices with a wired charging port are subject to the new law. This does potentially leave the door open for devices that exclusively use wireless charging to be exempt. Apple’s Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing argued that the new law will actually create more e-waste, something that the law states its aim is to avoid. As such, Joswiak did not indicate if Apple was considering removing all charging ports as an alternative but it does seem to be a possibility. There was no indication given that Apple was exploring this option. It is also unknown if, when the time comes, Apple plans to release EU-specific models to comply with the law or will make changes to all of its global product releases.
Wearables are exempt
Something else to note is that devices that are too small to include a USB-C port are exempt as well. This will likely play a factor in Apple’s wearable devices, such as AirPods and its Apple Watches, with having to adopt a new port.
Smart watches, wearable and health trackers, personal care devices, sport and lighting equipment are exempted from this provision when the small size of the product does not allow to be equipped with USB Type-C receptacle;