Apple Opposes India’s Push for Universal Charging Ports, Citing Production Challenges and Market Impact

Apple Opposes India's Push for Universal Charging Ports, Citing Production Challenges and Market Impact
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Apple has informed India that its local production goals may be impacted if India adopts the European Union’s directive to mandate universal charging ports for existing iPhones. The Indian government aims to implement this rule, requiring smartphones to have a USB-C charging port, by June 2025. While most manufacturers, including Samsung, have agreed, Apple is resisting the change, advocating for an exemption or delay.

Apple requested officials to exempt existing iPhone models from the regulation, stating that adherence would hinder meeting production targets set under India’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme. Apple’s regulatory executives warned of challenges meeting PLI targets if the rule applied to older iPhone models.

Apple, known for its lightning connector, did not specify the production impact in the meeting, but emphasized that altering the design of earlier products was not feasible. The IT ministry is reviewing Apple’s request before making a decision. India, viewed as Apple’s growth market after China, accounts for a growing percentage of iPhone production, estimated to reach 25% in 2024.

Apple assured officials that it could comply with the proposed timeline if exemptions were granted for existing models, proposing an 18-month transition period beyond 2024 if exemptions were not allowed. The EU’s charging port rules take effect in December 2024, and India aims for compliance by June 2025. Apple’s reluctance stems from concerns that enforcing the common charger on older iPhone models might impact sales in India’s price-sensitive market, where consumers often prefer older, more affordable iPhone models.

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