Asking for a charger and specifying that you need an iPhone or iOS charger is a flex for many. iPhones, at least in the Indian construct, are still very much a status symbol. But the charger flex may soon be irrelevant and iPhone users who forget their precious chargers all the time may find themselves asking an Android user for their charger.
Why? The Indian government announced that it is making USB Type-C chargers the standard for mobile phones and tablets.
The Android phone market doesn't have much to worry about, but the story is different for iPhone maker Apple. While most smartphones have long adopted the USB Type-C charging ports after a 2009 agreement, Apple has stuck out like a sore thumb, refusing to blend in.
Apple iPhones use lightning port chargers. Only a few of its devices like the latest iPad and some MacBooks use USB Type-C charging ports. Regardless, India's directive doesn't come as a shock for Apple, since the EU managed to rip the bandaid for the iPhone maker a few months ago.
The European Union mandate: Notably, India's decision comes just months after the EU passed a law for a common charger in its region, something Apple tried to fight for the longest of times (nearly 10 years).
In October, an Apple executive also said that they have no choice but to comply with the rules. So far, Apple has not commented on what it plans to do. But by the looks of it, there now seem to be two possibilities -
Earlier, speculations were rife whether Apple will just make USB Type-C compatible iPhones only for the EU region, but given that India too is going the EU way on chargers, it makes more sense for Apple to just make all iPhones with USB Type-C chargers.
What's the purpose of the mandate? India and the EU have the same reasons for the charger directive -
In 2019, an ASSOCHAM-EY report said that India would produce 5 million tonnes of e-waste by 2020. India ranks third behind China and the US in e-waste generation.