EU Warns Apple About Limiting Speeds of Uncertified USB-C Cables for iPhones

Last year, the EU passed legislation that will require the iPhone and many other devices with wired charging to be equipped with a USB-C port in order to be sold in the region. Apple has until December 28, 2024 to adhere to the law, but the switch from Lightning to USB-C is expected to happen with iPhone 15 models later this year.

USB C Over Lightning Feature
It was rumored in February that Apple may be planning to limit charging speeds and other functionality of USB-C cables that are not certified under its "Made for iPhone" program. Like the Lightning port on existing iPhones, a small chip inside the USB-C port on iPhone 15 models would confirm the authenticity of the USB-C cable connected.

"I believe Apple will optimize the fast charging performance of MFi-certified chargers for the iPhone 15," Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in March.

In response to this rumor, European Commissioner Thierry Breton has sent Apple a letter warning the company that limiting the functionality of USB-C cables would not be permitted and would prevent iPhones from being sold in the EU when the law goes into effect, according to German newspaper Die Zeit. The letter was obtained by German press agency DPA, and the report says the EU also warned Apple during a meeting in mid-March.

Given that it has until the end of 2024 to adhere to the law, Apple could still move forward with including an authentication chip in the USB-C port on iPhone 15 models later this year. And with iPhone 16 models expected to launch in September 2024, even those devices would be on the market before the law goes into effect.

The report says the EU intends to publish a guide to ensure a "uniform interpretation" of the legislation by the third quarter of this year.

It is worth emphasizing that Apple potentially limiting the functionality of uncertified USB-C cables connected to iPhone 15 models is only a rumor for now, so it remains to be seen whether or not the company actually moves forward with the alleged plans. iPads with USB-C ports do not have an authentication chip for this purpose.

(Thanks, Manfred!)

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Top Rated Comments

zorinlynx Avatar
5 weeks ago
I really have to give a big thank you to the EU for trying to save us from proprietary cable mayhem. Wish we had similar consumer protection laws in the US.
Score: 158 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Dee Avatar
5 weeks ago
I’m glad there is an adult in the room to put Apple on notice.
Score: 70 Votes (Like | Disagree)
snak-atak Avatar
5 weeks ago

EU is not playing any games. The world is ready for Apple to implement USB-C in iPhone 15.
Yeah, and can the EU also require that they update the Magic Mouse while they’re at it? The placement of the charge port on that device is just criminal!
Score: 57 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
5 weeks ago
EU is not playing any games. The world is ready for Apple to implement USB-C in iPhone 15. Enough is Enough!
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
icanhazmac Avatar
5 weeks ago
So the EU will compensate people who have their phones destroyed by cheap cables from China? Will they compensate people who have property destroyed when cheap cables melt and start fires? Complain all you want about MFI certifications but at least it guarantees that the cable will be robust enough to handle the draw from the device.
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
5 weeks ago

With ****** $2 cables floating around that could potentially cause harm to the users, I don't see anything wrong with a limitation if the device does not have a way to verify it is capable of handling the power.

We are close to more then tripling the amount of power running through these cables from what the original USB was capable off.
Non-Apple world (and Macs and iPads) have been using USB-C just fine for years now without any lockout chips. We'll be fine.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)