US senators declare war on Apple’s Lightning port, calling for one charger to rule them all

Well, here’s something that should have happened a long, long time ago. Following the European Union’s example from just last week, the US could make USB-C charging mandatory across the consumer electronics industry soon, at least if the Secretary of Commerce heeds the advice of a trio of Democratic senators.

While Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders make no direct mention of either USB-C or Lightning technology in their joint June 16 letter addressed to the “honorable” head of the US Department of Commerce, there’s really no other “comprehensive strategy” that could possibly be adopted to tackle the lack of a “common US charging standard” than what the EU is looking to enforce by fall 2024.
The European Union’s recently passed legislation is in fact directly referenced in the letter, with pretty much the same arguments invoked in favor of developing a similar law to be applied stateside. Of course, the US just so happens to be Apple‘s homeland and single biggest smartphone market, which means this proposal may well be met with a far higher degree of resistance at every level.
Perhaps in anticipation of such discussions and legislations, the Cupertino-based tech giant has long been working on ditching its universally reviled Lightning port. The newest iPad Air, Mini, and Pro editions all come with the same USB-C connectors as their Android-powered rivals, and if recent rumors are to be believed, the “standard” iPad should follow suit by the end of the year.
The same is extremely likely to happen with the iPhone 15 family in the fall of 2023, but because there are no guarantees yet, this new (and official) call for “uniform charging accessory standards” might not amount to much in the very near future.
Still, we can definitely see a more serious and public discussion than ever sparked by these three senators’ letter on the consumer inconveniences and the proliferation of electronic waste generated by not having a single charger compatible with all your electronic devices. 

In case you’re wondering, chargers alone are estimated to create over 11,000 (!!!) tons of e-waste annually around the world, and while outlawing Lightning ports and cables could aggravate that problem in the short run, its long-term impact will undoubtedly be very positive both from an ecological and even a financial perspective.

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