Apple has found itself in a sticky situation with the European commission recently, after the body launched a study to analyse "the impact of a common charger solution on consumers, the industry and the environment". The tech giant's iPhones use its proprietary Lightning charger, that ensures Apple products can't be used with rival technology, like the USB-C connectors used by Android phones.
With Europe focusing on reducing e-waste, Apple needs to either incorporate USB-C into its products, or speed up its plans to go portless. The former option was pooh-poohed by Apple leaker Jon Prosser who insisted that Apple would never embrace USB-C, but it seems that might change with the iPhone 12.
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new lighting cable ～ https://t.co/KOlzQ0mwauJuly 14, 2020
Twitter leaker L0vetodream shared a tweet from another account that claims that the iPhone 12 will ship with a braided Lightning to USB-C cable. The accessories that the upcoming flagship may or may not include in the box has been a bone of contention over the past few weeks, with analysts and insiders claiming that Apple won't be including earbuds or a charger.
For Apple, this eliminates the headache created by the EU's crackdown on e-waste, and allows for a more environmentally friendly product. On the other hand, it leaves those customers who are new to the ecosystem footing the bill for basic accessories.
The iPhone 11 Pro shipped with an 18W USB-C fast charger, and a USB-C to Lightning cable in the box, while the standard (and cheaper) iPhone 11 foisted the 5W charger and USB-A cable onto consumers, as Apple has been doing for years.
If it's scrapping chargers in-the-box altogether, but stubbornly sticking to Lightning ports on its smartphones, offering the cable with all four iPhone 12 models is a middle ground, and bumping it up to a premium-feel braided cable that will withstand the test of time much better than the current offering should keep customers somewhat happier.
In the long term, however, Apple will need to decide whether to fully embrace USB-C, or test the waters of this new approach until it perfects its AirPower wireless charging system.