The iPhone will move to a USB-C connector in compliance with new EU requirements for small electronics.
Apple executive Greg Joswiak announced the company has “no choice” but to follow the EU decree as it does all local laws worldwide.
The European Parliament voted in favour of new rules earlier this month, which require all mobile phones, tablets, cameras and other small devices sold in the EU to be equipped with a USB-C charging port by the end of 2024.
The push for this standardisation aims to reduce e-waste and simplify life for consumers.
Asked about the new rulings at a Wall Street Journal technology conference in California, Mr Joswiak said: “Obviously we’ll have to comply, we have no choice.”
But he suggested Apple is not entirely pleased with the decision, arguing it will increase e-waste as millions of existing iPhone users, who have Lightning cables as their current connector, will be left with no use for the cable after the switch.
He told the conference he thinks “the approach would’ve been better environmentally and better for our customers to not have a government be that prescriptive”.
The iPhone is currently the only major smartphone to not already use USB-C. Many of Apple’s other devices already support the connector.
Mr Joswiak did not specify when the connection will be introduced to the iPhone, stating only “the Europeans are the ones dictating timing for European customers”.
When asked whether Apple will only add the USB-C port to phones sold within the EU, the Apple executive refused to answer.
The UK appears unlikely to follow the EU’s decision around a common charging cable, with the government stating in June it is not currently considering implementing a similar rule.