Apple introduced its propriety Lightning connector back in 2012 for the 5th generation iPhone as well as the iPads and iPods being released that same year. The new standard of connector was set to replace the aging 30 pin connector that had been used from 2003 to 2012 on the different generations of iPhones, iPods and iPads released in those years. The 30 Pin Connector was due for an upgrade for a while. The newly introduced Lightning cable was smaller, reversible and increased speeds from the older cable. The Lightning cable has since been used in every generation of iPhone since it was introduced until now.
The European Union (EU) is introducing new legislation that might finally put an end to the proprietary Apple Lightning cable in favor of the USB-C standard. The new proposal will require all manufacturers to make devices compatible with the USB-C standard. This will apply to all phones and other devices such as tablets, cameras, headphones, speakers and more. This new legislation aims at trying to cut down on the E-waste that is being produced from consumers who throw out these cables though Apple is arguing the opposite in that it will create more waste. Phone manufacturers have already been shipping phones without power supplies and cables in an effort to reduce waste. The assumption is that a customer wont need a new cable and power supply everytime they upgrade their phone and that if they did need another one they would buy it.
Apple has already rolled out devices that have been using USB-C for a while such as the MacBook Air in 2016 and the newly released iPads. Flagship android phones have been running phones with the USB-C for years now as well. There is no arguing that apple has continually put itself behind the curb for holding onto its older Lightning cable (which still by the way uses the USB 2.0 standard for data transmission). USB 2.0 (the data communication standard used)
Apple announced Thunderbolt 3 over USB-C on its Macbook Air in 2016 and the iPad switch to USB-C in 2018. But even the newest model of the iPhone just announced in 2021 still comes with the aged Lightning connector. Apple has remained firm on its position that it will not conform to the standards but this may soon change.
Apple isn’t alone as lots of manufacturers are still making devices such as speakers and headphones with the farm more dated USB Micro or Micro-B charger. This number has continued to decrease with big name-brand companies making the switch but a large number of cheaply produced electronics from China still continue to use the older USB connector standards.
But even USB has its fair share of complications and that comes from compatibility of the different standards supported on a single connector.