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[Discussion] Apple's Alleged USB-C Strategy: Potentially Not Just Anti-consumer, but Also Unlawful

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Apple's rumored strategy to require certification for USB-C accessories to be fully compatible with the upcoming iPhone 15 has sparked tension with European regulators. A European Parliament member has accused the tech giant of trying to circumvent USB-C adoption rules.

Last year, the European Union passed a law mandating a common charging port on devices sold in Europe by 2024, forcing Apple to abandon its proprietary Lightning port in favor of USB-C. Reports suggest Apple will introduce four new iPhone 15 models featuring USB-C connectivity this fall.

However, rumors claim that Apple intends to require manufacturers of chargers, cables, and other phone accessories to register their USB-C products with the company's Made for iPhone (MFi) program. MFi certification guarantees that accessories function correctly with Apple's devices and allows Apple to collect licensing fees on those products. USB-C accessories without MFi certification may not charge iPhones at full speed.

This approach could create a tiered system of accessories, giving MFi products an advantage over other cables and chargers, seemingly contradicting the EU's common charging protocol. Alex Agius Saliba, a member of the European Parliament, stated in a speech that Apple's plans to offer different charging speeds would be a "direct violation of the law."

Saliba argued that Apple's lobbying against a universal charger over the past decade was not driven by innovation but by profit from proprietary chargers. He added that the European Commission plans to contact Apple about its USB-C plans, emphasizing that big corporations like Apple must not disregard consumer rights.

The iPhone 15 is expected to bring several changes, including the adoption of the Dynamic Island feature across the lineup, chipset and camera improvements in the iPhone 15 Pro, and a September release date.


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