Rumored iPhone 15 USB-C limitations invite an EU warning for Apple

iPhone 11 charging port
(Image credit: Future)

The EU has warned Apple that its rumored plans to limit the data transfer and charging speed of the iPhone 15's USB-C port won't go down very well with regulators.

Apple had been rumored to have designs on continuing its Lightning MFi program but for USB-C. That would mean that USB-C cables that haven't been given Apple's seal of approval could be limited, possibly causing them to charge more slowly or transfer data at a lower rate than might otherwise be possible.

With Apple switching to USB-C only because the EU will require consumer electronics to use a common charger from late 2024 it was always a question whether the MFi program would be allowed. Now, the EU has weighed in to put the idea to bed.

A non-starter

EU Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton reportedly sent a letter to Apple to warn that "devices that do not meet the requirements for the single charger will not be approved on the EU market." The letter was seen by the DPA news agency and reported on by Die Zeit.

It's also reported that the EU intends to publish a new guide that will ensure a "uniform interpretation of the legislation" by the third quarter of 2023, likely to spell out the requirements that all ports must work with all cables equally — something that will put paid to Apple's MFi plans.

The switch to USB-C is expected to happen for more than just Apple's best iPhones. The company will also have to refresh its accessories including the AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and its mice and keyboards to remove all Lightning ports.

As for the iPhone 15 lineup, that's expected to be announced in September alongside refreshed Apple Watches. Big changes are afoot with the iPhone 15 getting a Dynamic Island for the first time according to rumors. The iPhone 15 Pro is tipped to get its own Apple Watch Ultra-like Action button, too.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.