iPhone 15's rumored USB-C restrictions could land Apple in big trouble

iPhone 11 charging port
(Image credit: Future)

The iPhone 15 hasn't even been announced yet, but reported plans of a switch to USB-C have drawn ire from EU officials over rumors the company will restrict charging speeds using cables that aren't Made for iPhone certified. 

We know that Apple plans to unveil a brand new iPhone in September and that a headline shift in this year's best iPhone will be a brand new USB-C charging port to replace Lightning, driven in part by the EU's mandate that all portable electronics adopt the standard from 2024.

In February, it was rumored that Apple will restrict the charging and data transfer speeds of the iPhone 15 when it comes to non-MFi-certified cables and accessories. MFi, or Made for iPhone, is an authenticator chip built into accessories designed to encourage users to buy genuine Apple accessories while giving Apple a small stream of commission from each sale. It's also designed to stop dangerous and non-authentic accessories from being sold to customers that could potentially damage a device, harm a user, or risk data security. 

However, the European Commission has already caught wind of this and wants to step in. 

EU intervention

In a Facebook post, Maltese MEP Alex Agius Saliba said "Apple is expected to release a new Iphone that will be USB-C but if you don't buy an original charger from Apple the charging speed will be an inferior one," and that this would "directly violate the law" that is bringing USB-C into force. 

Following reports "that Apple company is expected to try to evade common charger law" the EC organized "an urgent meeting" to discuss the reports. Separately, Saliba expressed his disappointment on Twitter that Apple "rejected an invitation for an exchange of views" and to confirm or deny the reports. 

Saliba's interpretation is slightly misguided, in that MFI chargers are not sold by Apple alone, but can be purchased from a wide variety of third parties. 

Saliba says the Commission will now be formally writing to Apple about the matter and said "big companies like Apple cannot continue to do what they want at the expense of our consumer rights."

Apple's iPhone 15 will be unveiled in September and is expected to feature the aforementioned USB-C update as well as a new processor for the iPhone 15 Pro, an all-new design, and capacitive buttons to replace the iPhone's mechanical switches. The Dynamic Island is also expected to debut in the non-Pro iPhone for the first time. 

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9