Weeks after the European Union (EU) decided passed rules to introduce a common charger for small electronic devices, India is set to adopt USB Type-C as a common charging port for small devices, consumer affairs secretary Rohit Kumar Singh has said. This also means Apple will not be able to sell its iPhone models in India if they do not accommodate the USB-C port.

“Industry should overcome inertia in adopting a uniform charging port in the interest of consumer welfare and prevention of avoidable e-waste. This was stated by Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary Department of Consumer Affairs, while chairing a meeting of the Central Inter-Ministerial Task Force constituted to examine the issue of uniformity in charging ports of electronic devices,” said a media release by the Press Information Bureau.

There are no set timelines to implement the USB-C common charger rule in India, but according to a report by The Economic Times, an industry executive has suggested that these changes may be enforced in India after the EU law regarding the same comes into effect in Europe. 

“During the meeting, a broad consensus emerged among stakeholders on adoption of USB Type – C as a charging port for electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops etc. Further, it was deliberated that a different charging port may be adopted for feature phones. The Department has also decided to form a sub-group to examine the feasibility of uniform charging port for wearables. The sub-group will include representatives from industry bodies, educational institutions etc,” the media release added.

India’s new legislation will follow the new EU rules that mean Apple will be forced to bid adieu to the Lightning iPhone port which it has been introducing to date in its iPhone models, including this year’s iPhone 14 series. The Lightning iPhone ports are being used by almost 20 per cent of devices sold in Europe. Notably, Apple introduced the Type-C port in its 12-inch MacBook model in 2015 and in the iPad Pro in 2018.

However, there has been a debate over the better shelf life of Lightning Ports over Type-C ports as the latter is said to become loose with usage.

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