iPhone 15 is on the horizon, and speculation is rife that Apple is finally making the switch from its exclusive Lightning connector to the universal USB-C. While this transition brings numerous benefits, it appears that Apple is preempting a forthcoming European Union law mandating USB-C for smartphones. Saudi Arabia has joined this movement by enforcing the adoption of USB-C connectors among device manufacturers.
USB-C Becomes Standard for Devices Sold in Saudi Arabia
According to a report from Khaleej Times (via GSMArena), Saudi Arabia’s local regulatory authority has declared USB-C as the standardized connector for electronic devices. This transformative process will commence in two stages:
- Stage 1 (Starting January 1, 2025): All new smartphones and accessories, including headphones, keyboards, speakers, and routers, sold within Saudi Arabia must feature USB-C connectivity.
- Stage 2 (Starting April 1, 2026): All laptops and portable computers, encompassing devices like tablets such as the iPad, will also be mandated to incorporate a USB-C connector.
The local regulator emphasizes that this decision aims to “enhance user experience and reduce expenses.” USB-C offers swifter data transfer rates and contributes to the reduction of electronic waste, promoting the use of a single cable across various devices. Similarly, the European Union is set to enact a comparable law on December 28, 2024.
Global Trend: The Shift Towards USB-C
Saudi Arabia’s initiative reflects a global trend, with other countries contemplating similar regulations. In the previous year, Brazil’s regulatory body, Anatel, proposed a mandate that smartphone manufacturers replace other connectors with USB-C. Likewise, the US Commerce Department is deliberating a comparable policy, although a final decision remains pending.
Apple in the Spotlight
While these laws target all device manufacturers, Apple stands out as the principal focus. The iPhone, along with accessories like AirPods and Magic Mouse, still relies on the proprietary Lightning connector, introduced by Apple in 2012.
Apple’s adoption of USB-C commenced in 2015 with the introduction of the 12-inch MacBook, gradually extending across its product line. Presently, USB-C is integrated into the entire Mac and iPad lineup, as well as Beats headphones. Anticipation mounts as the iPhone 15 series is expected to mark Apple’s transition to USB-C, aligning with legal requirements.
Initial speculation entertained the notion of Apple crafting region-specific iPhone models featuring USB-C for Europe. However, this prospect now appears unlikely as more nations enforce USB-C adoption. Consequently, accessories like AirPods are also poised for a refresh, embracing the new port in the near future.
Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is based on the latest available reports as of the publication date. For the most accurate and up-to-date details, please refer to official sources.