Apple warns local production will take a hit if India mandates EU-like universal charging port: report

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • The government of India has been in talks with manufacturers about introducing the universal charging port by June 2025 in the country.
  • Apple warns its local production targets will take a hit if the government of India follows the European Union and needs existing iPhones to have universal charging ports.
  • Apple sought officials to exempt existing iPhone models from the rules or an extension from implementing the rule.

The iPhone 15 series finally embraced the USB Type-C port and we all have the European Union for making this mandatory across the nation. Now, the same might happen in India but Apple warns its local production targets will take a hit if the government of India follows the European Union and needs existing iPhones to have universal charging ports. This is as per a report from Reuters citing a government document, which shows that Apple lobbies for an exemption or delay in the change.

 

Apple’s India production might take a hit 

  • According to the Reuters report, India wants to implement the European Union rule which will require smartphones to have a universal USB-C charging port.
  • To this extent, the government has been in talks with manufacturers about introducing the requirement by June 2025 in the country.
  • This is six months after the deadline in the EU.
  • Apparently, all manufacturers, including Samsung have agreed to India’s plan but Apple is trying to push back.
  • Apple traditionally offered lightning connector port for iPhones but the EU mandate changed that this year.
  • EU estimates that a single charger solution would save about $271 million for consumers, and so India wants to adopt this move and reduce e-waste and help users.
  • According to Reuters, in a closed-door meeting on November 28th, chaired by the IT ministry, Apple asked the officials to exempt existing iPhone models from the rules. The company says that this will hit the production targets set under India’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme.
  • For those unaware, PLI is a scheme from the government of India which offers electronic manufacturers in India incentives for fresh investments and incremental phone sales each year. Apple suppliers like Foxconn leverage and use this scheme extensively to expand iPhone production in India.
  • If the regulation is implemented on earlier models of mobile phones, Apple will not be able to meet the PLI targets,” the minutes quoted Apple’s regulatory and product compliance executives as saying while opposing the rules. Apple didn’t explain the production impact during the meeting. The IT ministry decided to review the request and come to a decision, as per two people familiar with the discussion

The design of old iPhones can’t be changed

Only the iPhone 15 has the new universal charging port. In this regard, Apple told the Indian officials during the meeting that the “design of the earlier products cannot be changed,” as per the document.

In a price-sensitive market like India, a large section of consumers prefer to buy older iPhone models as they tend to become cheaper after the new generation launch. With the latest push by the government for a common charger on older models too, this would hit Apple’s target, as per Prabhu Ram, head of the Industry Intelligence Group at CyberMedia Research. “Apple’s fortunes in India have primarily been tied to older generation iPhones,” he said.

Apple clarified that it can comply with the timeline if existing models are exempted from the rule but if India is firm on the change for older models too, the company would apparently need 18 months beyond 2024.

Apple iPhone 16 with Action Button: What to expect

  • As per MacRumours, all iPhone 16 models with feature an Action Button that will be capacitive in nature. The ones on the iPhone 15 Proand iPhone 15 Pro Max are mechanical buttons. This means the new Action Button could function like the Touch ID Home button on older iPhones or the Force Touch Trackpad on newer MacBooks.
  • The internal documents reveal the Action Button codename is Atlas and that it will have a force sensor capable of analyzing pressure and “tact-switching functionality”. Also, the documents mention a Capturebutton on the iPhone 16 series that could function similarly to the Action Button.

The details are a little hazy but the company is expected to ship all future iPhones including the iPhone SE 4 with the Action Button. So, Apple seems to be ditching the signature Ring/Silent button in favour of this new button. MacRumours also claim Apple is working on bigger-sized Action Buttons too that look like the iPhone volume rocker.

In time, we should see more renders and leaks regarding this. For now, we can safely assume the Action Button to carry forward the following features:

iPhone 15 Pro Action Button features

  • Silent Mode:This is an alternative to the mute switch and does the same job of turning on the silent or ringer mode.
  • Camera:Quickly turn on the Camera viewfinder and click a photo or shoot a video.
  • Magnifier:Zoom in using the iPhone camera by tapping the Action Button.
  • Translate:Use the built-in translator to find translation between two languages.
  • Flashlight:Trigger the ‌iPhone‌ flashlight with a press.
  • Voice Memo: Do voice recording in a jiff.
  • Focus: Activate the Focus Mode that suits the situation. Press the button again to toggle it off.
  • Shortcuts: Use the Action Button to access any of the Shortcuts you have saved on your iPhone.
  • Accessibility features: Toggle any of the accessibility settings to aid your use, especially if you are specially-abled in case of hearing or vision.

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