Apple isn't happy about India's demand to upgrade older iPhones with USB-C

Posted:
in iPhone

Apple has urged the Indian IT ministry to make changes to its single charger rules, as adding USB-C to older iPhone models will make it hard for Apple to meet production targets for India's manufacturing and export laws.

A USB-C cable
A USB-C cable



Following after the European Union's introduction of regulations that will force electronics producers to use USB-C as part of a common charger directive, India followed suit with its own variation of the mandate. However, Apple is one of the few companies pushing back on its implementation.

Apple met with India's IT ministry in a closed-door meeting on November 28, reports Reuters, asking officials to add exemptions to the rules for some older models of iPhone.

While the EU's rules effectively apply only against newly designed and released products after the rules come into force in 2024, India's version does not. Instead, it applies to all electronic devices sold in the country, which also includes hardware that wasn't previously designed with USB-C.

To Apple, this wrinkle means it would have to incorporate USB-C into the designs of older Lightning-equipped iPhone models to continue selling them in India.

Apple told the regulators that implementing the changes would mean it won't be able to "meet the PLI targets," minutes from the meeting state. PLI, India's Production-Linked Incentive scheme, is a major project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, providing manufacturers with financial incentives for investments and incremental annual phone sales.

The use of USB-C in the iPhone 15 means Apple meets the criteria for the rules with its current-gen hardware. However, the bulk of its sales in India are based around older iPhone generations.

Apple says it can comply with a timeline for compliance by June 2025 if existing models are exempted from the rules. Otherwise, it would need another 18 months beyond 2024 if there isn't an exemption.

Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,902member
    Add USB-C to lightening dongle to package as work around. In 2-3 years, iPhone 15 will be old enough to meet built-in usb-c requirement.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 25
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 1,146member
    It's already been shown that USB C will work in the older iPhones. 

    Apple should get their act together.
    williamlondonSpitbathbonobob
  • Reply 3 of 25
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,518member
    I am critical of the US for weaponising technology 'after the fact' for companies that are not US companies.

    The same reasoning applies here. If the product is already approved, manufactured and available in the market, I think it's unreasonable to make Apple retrofit USB-C to the design.

    However, laws are there to be complied with so imagine this particular change can be made with less impact for Apple than it would have us believe.

    I hope Apple is able to persuade the government here (and that any concessions are made available to other manufacturers in a similar position).
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 25
    darkvader said:
    It's already been shown that USB C will work in the older iPhones. 

    Apple should get their act together.
    The cost of retooling an old design for any variation is so great that it is not economically viable. Apple would just discontinue all lightning models when the mandate came in to force and only sell the iPhone 15. It would remain that way for a few years until a USB-C based shell gets in to a lower cost iPhone. The most likely thing being a retool of an existing design for a iPhone SE 4
    ronnwilliamlondonbonobobbaconstangentropysAnilu_777watto_cobramacxpress
  • Reply 5 of 25
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,707member
    darkvader said:
    It's already been shown that USB C will work in the older iPhones. 

    Apple should get their act together.
    Unbelievable. If they care so much about it, why didn't governments step in when there were a ridiculous number of different USB-A/B connectors for different devices (which are now clogging landfills)?



    That's the very reason why Apple chose to go with Lightning instead of USB in the first place. And boy did people complain about the switch from Dock to Lighting at the time! Now suddenly everyone is fine with buying all new USB-C accessories because Android users and governments are cheerleading USB-C. Gimme a break!
    edited December 2023 ronntmaywilliamlondonSpitbathdanoxbaconstangzeus423Anilu_777watto_cobramacxpress
  • Reply 6 of 25
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,248member
    auxio said:
    darkvader said:
    It's already been shown that USB C will work in the older iPhones. 

    Apple should get their act together.
    Unbelievable. If they care so much about it, why didn't governments step in when there were a ridiculous number of different USB-A/B connectors for different devices (which are now clogging landfills)?



    That's the very reason why Apple chose to go with Lightning instead of USB in the first place. And boy did people complain about the switch from Dock to Lighting at the time! Now suddenly everyone is fine with buying all new USB-C accessories because Android users and governments are cheerleading USB-C. Gimme a break!
    Has it actually gotten any better with USB-C? 

    Consumers still have to navigate the variations of power and bandwidth, and USB.ORG's nomenclature doesn't help. What will end up happening, is that Apple users will flock to the 100W/5A PD and 10Gbps, because, why take a chance?
    ronnwilliamlondonauxiobaconstangwatto_cobramacxpress
  • Reply 7 of 25
    auxio said:
    darkvader said:
    It's already been shown that USB C will work in the older iPhones. 

    Apple should get their act together.
    Unbelievable. If they care so much about it, why didn't governments step in when there were a ridiculous number of different USB-A/B connectors for different devices (which are now clogging landfills)?



    That's the very reason why Apple chose to go with Lightning instead of USB in the first place. And boy did people complain about the switch from Dock to Lighting at the time! Now suddenly everyone is fine with buying all new USB-C accessories because Android users and governments are cheerleading USB-C. Gimme a break!
    Wasn’t Apple the early driving force for USB-C when they adopted it as the exclusive port on their laptops?
    ronnwilliamlondontmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 25
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,518member
    tmay said:
    auxio said:
    darkvader said:
    It's already been shown that USB C will work in the older iPhones. 

    Apple should get their act together.
    Unbelievable. If they care so much about it, why didn't governments step in when there were a ridiculous number of different USB-A/B connectors for different devices (which are now clogging landfills)?



    That's the very reason why Apple chose to go with Lightning instead of USB in the first place. And boy did people complain about the switch from Dock to Lighting at the time! Now suddenly everyone is fine with buying all new USB-C accessories because Android users and governments are cheerleading USB-C. Gimme a break!
    Has it actually gotten any better with USB-C? 

    Consumers still have to navigate the variations of power and bandwidth, and USB.ORG's nomenclature doesn't help. What will end up happening, is that Apple users will flock to the 100W/5A PD and 10Gbps, because, why take a chance?
    Yes. Even if the deadline isn't here yet. 

    The EU directive at least, applies to far more devices than phones. An entire industry will be harmonised and one of the reasons the EU chose the route it did was precisely because of Apple not doing its bit after the original MoU all those years ago.

    I currently have a wide range of charging interfaces at home and very few are interchangeable even if some of them might actually be official standards and not proprietary connectors. For example the Simple Human dispenser and the Philips One Blade. 

    The EU also wants to tackle labeling to make things easier for consumers. 

    At some point, wireless charging might also need to be dealt with too and Apple is now actively contributing to future wireless specs. 
    edited December 2023 Anilu_777muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 25
    USB-C should be made the standard for charging EV's around the world. 

    Voilà !
    williamlondonAnilu_777watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 25
    Interesting. It reminds me the origin of India English. They know the meaning of “upgrade” is really an upgrade (not disposal of everything and replacement of a completely new unit). While Apple is an American company uses American English with a twist of English into consumerism making the word “upgrade” meaning replacement. Thus, every year an 10% “upgrade” (UK English) in feature sells an “upgraded” (US English) iPhone at 100%+ price point.  Apple doesn’t like UK English. Of course.
    williamlondonSpitbathbonobobwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 25
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,707member
    auxio said:
    darkvader said:
    It's already been shown that USB C will work in the older iPhones. 

    Apple should get their act together.
    Unbelievable. If they care so much about it, why didn't governments step in when there were a ridiculous number of different USB-A/B connectors for different devices (which are now clogging landfills)?



    That's the very reason why Apple chose to go with Lightning instead of USB in the first place. And boy did people complain about the switch from Dock to Lighting at the time! Now suddenly everyone is fine with buying all new USB-C accessories because Android users and governments are cheerleading USB-C. Gimme a break!
    Wasn’t Apple the early driving force for USB-C when they adopted it as the exclusive port on their laptops?
    I've heard rumours that they donated the spec for USB-C, which was created around the same time as Lightning. However, they've tended to prefer Thunderbolt over vanilla  USB-C, which is a bit of a mess with all the different power specifications and difficulty figuring out what can power what (as @tmay said). At least with USB-A/B, you had different connectors for different amounts of power delivery.

    ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 25
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,707member
    Interesting. It reminds me the origin of India English. They know the meaning of “upgrade” is really an upgrade (not disposal of everything and replacement of a completely new unit). While Apple is an American company uses American English with a twist of English into consumerism making the word “upgrade” meaning replacement. Thus, every year an 10% “upgrade” (UK English) in feature sells an “upgraded” (US English) iPhone at 100%+ price point.  Apple doesn’t like UK English. Of course.
    Hopefully put that same kind of analysis into other products which, while not using the word "upgrade" (not sure where Apple uses that when selling new products), follow the same pattern where you get an entirely new product rather than updating the old one. Cars, appliances, etc. "Consistency" is a word I really like, especially when it comes to belief systems.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 25
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,248member
    avon b7 said:
    tmay said:
    auxio said:
    darkvader said:
    It's already been shown that USB C will work in the older iPhones. 

    Apple should get their act together.
    Unbelievable. If they care so much about it, why didn't governments step in when there were a ridiculous number of different USB-A/B connectors for different devices (which are now clogging landfills)?



    That's the very reason why Apple chose to go with Lightning instead of USB in the first place. And boy did people complain about the switch from Dock to Lighting at the time! Now suddenly everyone is fine with buying all new USB-C accessories because Android users and governments are cheerleading USB-C. Gimme a break!
    Has it actually gotten any better with USB-C? 

    Consumers still have to navigate the variations of power and bandwidth, and USB.ORG's nomenclature doesn't help. What will end up happening, is that Apple users will flock to the 100W/5A PD and 10Gbps, because, why take a chance?
    Yes. Even if the deadline isn't here yet. 

    The EU directive at least, applies to far more devices than phones. An entire industry will be harmonised and one of the reasons the EU chose the route it did was precisely because of Apple not doing its bit after the original MoU all those years ago.

    I currently have a wide range of charging interfaces at home and very few are interchangeable even if some of them might actually be official standards and not proprietary connectors. For example the Simple Human dispenser and the Philips One Blade. 

    The EU also wants to tackle labeling to make things easier for consumers. 

    At some point, wireless charging might also need to be dealt with too and Apple is now actively contributing to future wireless specs. 
    What the EU mandated with USB-C had very little to do with Apple's response to the MOU, since Apple was always in compliance with the mere addition of the dongle adaptor at time of sale. The fact that the EU previously "encouraged" USB Micro as the standard pretty much establishes how fucked up EU regulators were at that time.

    Oh, and the current USB-C mandate doesn't actually take effect until the 28th of this month; Apple made it with months to spare.

    Of note, Apple would still be in compliance with the EU mandate sans a charging port given that all of its current models support MagSafe/Qi.
    ronnwilliamlondonAnilu_777watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 25
    indian officials probably want some money from Apple. 
    danoxbaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 25
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,902member
    I am born, raised in India and live in USA for 35 years and often go back and forth. Professionally chip/hardware/software engineer.  In India, 95% bark and 5% bite. Everyone deals that way. Nothing new. 
    So, Apple calmly need to work with Indian authorities and set the time table where current iPhone 15 will be old and cheap enough to address the built-in USB-C mandate and get a pass for the current iPhone models on market. It is useless to go back and redesign the old iPhone port, go through worldwide validation, etc just to sell some older version iPhones in India. Besides that I don't see Indian consumers complaining. 
    So India need to focus on getting more Apple manufacturing and more jobs for Indian people. That is more win then requiring port change on product already on market.


    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 25
    Apple could build a facility to make these modded iPhones for India.  I think Viet Nam would be a good location...
    zeus423watto_cobraglennh
  • Reply 17 of 25
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,518member
    tmay said:
    avon b7 said:
    tmay said:
    auxio said:
    darkvader said:
    It's already been shown that USB C will work in the older iPhones. 

    Apple should get their act together.
    Unbelievable. If they care so much about it, why didn't governments step in when there were a ridiculous number of different USB-A/B connectors for different devices (which are now clogging landfills)?



    That's the very reason why Apple chose to go with Lightning instead of USB in the first place. And boy did people complain about the switch from Dock to Lighting at the time! Now suddenly everyone is fine with buying all new USB-C accessories because Android users and governments are cheerleading USB-C. Gimme a break!
    Has it actually gotten any better with USB-C? 

    Consumers still have to navigate the variations of power and bandwidth, and USB.ORG's nomenclature doesn't help. What will end up happening, is that Apple users will flock to the 100W/5A PD and 10Gbps, because, why take a chance?
    Yes. Even if the deadline isn't here yet. 

    The EU directive at least, applies to far more devices than phones. An entire industry will be harmonised and one of the reasons the EU chose the route it did was precisely because of Apple not doing its bit after the original MoU all those years ago.

    I currently have a wide range of charging interfaces at home and very few are interchangeable even if some of them might actually be official standards and not proprietary connectors. For example the Simple Human dispenser and the Philips One Blade. 

    The EU also wants to tackle labeling to make things easier for consumers. 

    At some point, wireless charging might also need to be dealt with too and Apple is now actively contributing to future wireless specs. 
    What the EU mandated with USB-C had very little to do with Apple's response to the MOU, since Apple was always in compliance with the mere addition of the dongle adaptor at time of sale. The fact that the EU previously "encouraged" USB Micro as the standard pretty much establishes how fucked up EU regulators were at that time.

    Oh, and the current USB-C mandate doesn't actually take effect until the 28th of this month; Apple made it with months to spare.

    Of note, Apple would still be in compliance with the EU mandate sans a charging port given that all of its current models support MagSafe/Qi.
    The idea was to get a result through understanding the problem. Without legislation. Hence the MoU.

    Apple did not 'comply'. It didn't implement micro USB. From the EU's perspective, it was part of the problem of fragmentation. Lightning was impeding harmonization (along with plenty of other connectors). 

    Oh well.

    The next time around, and following all the relevant impact assessments, the EU decided to legislate (concluding not enough had been achieved 'voluntarily' over the years), but this time the net was spread wide to cover far more devices than just phones. 

    Apple had no option but to fall in line.

    Wireless was deliberately left out this time around but specifically mentioned, so if we see industry pulling in different directions on that front we can fully expect that to be legislated. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 25
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,232member
    auxio said:
    darkvader said:
    It's already been shown that USB C will work in the older iPhones. 

    Apple should get their act together.
    Unbelievable. If they care so much about it, why didn't governments step in when there were a ridiculous number of different USB-A/B connectors for different devices (which are now clogging landfills)?



    That's the very reason why Apple chose to go with Lightning instead of USB in the first place. And boy did people complain about the switch from Dock to Lighting at the time! Now suddenly everyone is fine with buying all new USB-C accessories because Android users and governments are cheerleading USB-C. Gimme a break!
    There’s a ridiculous amount of sneakers filling landfills also. Should the government step in there as well?
  • Reply 19 of 25
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,229member
    Simply put, Apple is not going to make a special USB-C version of previous iPhones for any one country. NA GA HA PEN, India.
    watto_cobramacxpress
  • Reply 20 of 25
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,782member
    darkvader said:
    It's already been shown that USB C will work in the older iPhones. 

    Apple should get their act together.
    Do you ever make any comments here this aren't a negative bonehead comment towards Apple? I mean seriously....your comments usually never make any sense without any thought what so ever as to why Apple is actually doing something the way they are and why they have a certain stance on things. It would be great if you would get rid of this tinfoil hat theory that Apple is constantly out to screw its customers over. 
    edited December 2023
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