Apple has asked the Indian government to exempt iPhone users from using the common charging port (USB-C) for electronic devices. The move has been taken as the Centre has evaluated the possibility of mandating a common charger for most devices.
In a recent meeting with the IT Ministry’s officials which took place last month, the tech giant informed the officials that if such a rule will be implemented in India, which sounds similar to what has been proposed by the European Union (EU) to require devices, which supports the universal charging ports, which may hamper its domestic manufacturing plans, a reliable sources told IANS.
As per the company, if such regulations are implemented on older iPhone devices, Apple might not be able to meet the PLI (product-linked incentive) targets.
It was Reuters who first reported about the development. When Apple was reached out to know the reason, the tech giant did not comment on the same.
Pankaj Mohindroo, Chairman of India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) told IANS that the industry is completely aligned with the government for implementing a uniform charging port regulation in the country to reduce e-waste and promote ease of living.
Mohindroo further said, "The mobile phone industry has already adopted the Type-C USB port for charging and 100 per cent of the new models launched and sold in India are with Type-C. We are working with the Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) for a smoother transition of all the notified products like mobile phones, laptops, and tablets, which will be covered under the regulation.”
Latest iPhone 15 series with USB-C port
The latest iPhone 15 series was launched with the USB-C port and as per Apple Inc., “the design of the earlier products cannot be changed”.
As per the industry experts, Apple has primarily been tied to older-generation iPhones, as the masses are still using the old-generation iPhone models.
Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group at CMR, told IANS, "An early transition to USB-C, including on older-gen iPhones, could potentially strain Apple's supply chain and hit its fortunes."
In August 2023, the Department of Consumer Affairs met the industry representatives to evaluate the possibility of mandating a common charger for most of the devices.
Also, in the meeting with Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh, the ICEA and other industry stakeholders discussed the viability of a common charging port (USB-C) for devices, including smartphones.
Mohindroo stated, "The charging port ecosystem has largely become rationalised, with the vast majority of feature phones (375 million) using micro-USB, and vast majority of smartphones (500 million) using USB-C. Low power devices (such as hearables /wearables, Bluetooth speakers) are also moving towards USB-C for higher-end items.”
The government has been aiming at the possibility of adopting a universal charger model for all electronic devices and will set up a panel seeking views on the proposal.
Inputs from IANS