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Apple might equip the upcoming iPhone 15 with a USB-C charging port

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

The iPhone 15 is likely to launch in the coming weeks, and this next generation could feature a generic charging port for the first time in Apple's history. That's because European Union regulators are requiring that all new mobile devices have a standardized connection.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And Apple has not been known for doing things in a standard way.

FADEL: No.

INSKEEP: They have their own kind of little plug.

FADEL: Constantly buying new things for them.

INSKEEP: Yeah, totally. Totally. But USB-C is the standard for most new handheld electronic devices except the iPhone.

TERRANCE GAINES: There's no official word from Apple yet, so we will have to wait.

INSKEEP: So says Terrance Gaines, a certified Apple support specialist based in Atlanta.

FADEL: To continue selling devices in the EU next year, Apple will have to abandon the lightning connector that's sat at the bottom of iPhone since 2012 in favor of the USB-C port. Apple's senior vice president for worldwide marketing said last year that the company will comply, but exactly when is still unclear.

INSKEEP: Gaines and other experts expect the change to come this year.

GAINES: Apple typically does things on their own time frame, but it just makes more sense for them to do it now, to just get it over with.

INSKEEP: Whenever they do it, consumers will benefit.

GAINES: It's reported that the USB-C port will have faster data and charging speeds.

FADEL: And it'll be cheaper, too. The EU estimates the change will save European consumers more than a quarter billion dollars a year on new chargers they won't have to buy.

INSKEEP: Although will there be some waste because you'll have these old cords that are no longer useful?

GAINES: Most people who have purchased any sort of handheld, portable, small, electronic, like a speaker, like headphones, like earbuds, most of those products have already switched. If USB-C is included in the latest iPhone, you can cut down on the amount of cables you have to carry, which, in turn, will eventually cut down on the amount of cable waste.

INSKEEP: Although that also means that if your kids need a cord for their device, they're going to take yours.

(SOUNDBITE OF WAS A WOLF'S "ENGLISH CREAM") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.