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What EU's USB-C mandate may mean for Apple

Tech editor Dan Howley details how European legislation on universal charging formats for personal devices may affect Apple.

Video transcript

RACHELLE AKUFFO: The European Union's parliament has voted to make USB-C the charging standard for personal electronics, a decision that could have considerable implications for companies like Apple and others. For more on this, let's bring in Yahoo Finance's Dan Howley. So what sort of implications are we looking at here, Dan?

DAN HOWLEY: Hey, Rachelle. This is very interesting because it means that we could say goodbye to the lightning cable once and for all. And this has been something that a lot of people have been calling for for some time. The USB-C cable is universal. It allows for the transfer of data, power, and video. So you can take a USB charger for, say, your MacBook and then plug it straight into a USB compatible pair of earbuds, and then charge them up with it, or with your smartphone and charge it up with it, or transfer video to your TV with it.

So it's meant to be this universal cable. And the fact that Apple hasn't jumped on that train with the iPhone, or with its AirPods, has definitely been something that governments have been looking at, particularly the EU, but also consumer advocacy groups just hoping that consumers wouldn't have to buy another cable just to power their iPhone.

So Apple hasn't made any announcement yet regarding the future of the iPhone. The most recent iPhone, the iPhone 14 line, that still uses lightning rather than USB-C. But it looks like the company is going to have to change that with the iPhone 15, or whatever it ends up being called, and any future headsets that it has to offer. So we will see that. It's not foreign to Apple though. They have it on the Mac and the iPad already.