Apple has given its most direct confirmation yet that a USB-C-equipped iPhone is coming now that the European Union is mandating that all phones sold in its member states use the connector if they have a physical charger. To a question from The Wall Street JournalJoanna Stern, if the company is going to replace Lighting, Apple marketing chief Greg Joswiak responded by saying, “obviously we’re going to have to comply, we have no choice.”

Stern raised the law during a conversation with Joswiak and software vice president Craig Federighi at WSJat the Tech Live conference and followed up with the question of when we can expect to see USB-C on the iPhone. Joswiak responded by saying that “Europeans are the ones who dictate the time for European customers.” Currently, the law dictates that “all mobile phones and tablets” will have to use USB-C by “autumn 2024.” Joswiak declined to answer whether the company would include the connector in phones sold outside the EU.

But he made it abundantly clear that Apple isn’t happy about being legally forced to make the switch. Before acknowledging that the company must comply with the law, Joswiak went on to explain at length how Apple has historically preferred to go its own way and trust its engineers rather than be forced to adopt hardware standards by lawmakers. He cited examples around Micro USB and hearing aid compliance as situations where Apple was forced to meet reckless demands.

He also suggested that charging bricks with detachable cables have largely solved the standardization problem, and argued that the iPhone’s switch to Lightning to USB-C would lead to a lot of electronic waste. (Personally, I don’t find this argument convincing; I have to replace most of my Lightning cables every few years anyway, about the same frequency as I buy new phones, because they wear out or chewed by cats.)

Still, what wasn’t mentioned is telling: a portless iPhone that relies solely on wireless charging, something that would theoretically be allowed. Joswiak didn’t say the company is weighing its options or considering whether there are ways around the need to put USB-C on the iPhone. Instead, we got a conciliatory, slightly meandering response that led to what seems like an inevitable conclusion: USB-C is the future port for connecting and charging your iPhone.

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