Apple Pushes Back Against iPhone USB-C Regulations in India

Apple has asked the Indian government to exempt existing iPhones from new rules that require smartphones sold in the country to have a USB-C charging port, reports Reuters.

iPhone 15 USB C Port Event Still
India wants to replicate an upcoming European Union rule that requires all smartphones to implement the USB-C charging standard. However, according to a new report, Apple has told India its local production targets will be hit if the country requires all iPhones to have USB-C charging ports.

In a closed-door Nov. 28 meeting chaired by India's IT ministry, Apple asked officials to exempt existing iPhone models from the rules, warning it will otherwise struggle to meet production targets set under India's production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, according to the meeting minutes seen by Reuters.

Only the newest iPhone 15 models currently have the USB-C port. The problem for Apple is that many consumers in India prefer to buy older models like the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, which Apple produces in India for local sales and exports as part of its adherence to the country's PLI scheme.

"If the regulation is implemented on earlier models of mobile phones, they (Apple) will not be able to meet the PLI targets," the minutes quoted Apple's regulatory and product compliance executives as saying while opposing the rules.

While the EU regulation comes into effect in December 2024, India has said it wants compliance by June 2025. According to the report, Apple told officials it can comply with that timeline if existing models are exempted from the rules, but will need 18 months beyond 2024 if they are not. India's IT ministry is said to have decided to review its request in light of the meeting and will reach a decision later.

Tags: USB-C, India

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Top Rated Comments

Andres Cantu Avatar
7 months ago
Should have switched sooner!
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
UncleMac Avatar
7 months ago

Another case of governments getting too big for their boots.
Another case of Apple getting too big for their boots. How Apple is still producing devices with lightning in 2023 is beyond me.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
StudioMacs Avatar
7 months ago
The EU regulation covers new phones introduced in 2024, so the iPhone 15 was actually exempt from the regulation despite the media narrative pushed here and elsewhere.

That’s why Apple will continue to sell older iPhones with lightning ports in Europe.

The Indian regulation would cover all phones, and Apple is trying to bring it in line with the EU regulation.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SanderEvers Avatar
7 months ago
Honestly I don't see any plus for requiring existing devices to be forced to switch. That in the end will ONLY lead to more ewaste, since you can't sell those devices and they would have to be either shipped elsewhere or destroyed.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cthompson94 Avatar
7 months ago
I don't understand how new regulations can just be like "oh this phone wasn't USB-C back in 2020 so it can't be sold anymore". I don't know seems a bit too far IMO, it is one thing to say all new devices from this date going forward need to to be xyz compliant based on this new law/regulation
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SanderEvers Avatar
7 months ago

I personally would like to see this go forward. I doubt that swapping the lightning port for a USB-C port on existing 13, and 14 phones would actually require a lof of re-engineering. Plus I'd be disappointed if Apple–being an innovative company–wouldn't be able to get around that.

A quick comparison of images of the internals of the 15 ('https://guide-images.cdn.ifixit.com/igi/bZB4Ol5MIwlDnAU3.huge') and the 14 ('https://guide-images.cdn.ifixit.com/igi/WuQMCyl35XXuXAmM.huge') show that the connector takes about the same space. The only change would be the casing.

If Apple can have a casing with the mmWave cutouts for the US, Apple can certainly have different casings for USB-C models.
And what are you going to do with the old ports and cases? Throw them away? That's e-waste, and that's what we want to reduce.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)