The EU Commission has warned Apple not to withhold some functions for accessories certified by the company in the forthcoming change in charging connector technology for iPhones.

Restrictions in the interaction with chargers are not permitted, emphasized EU Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton in a letter available to the German Press Agency in Brussels. The EU directive for uniform chargers is scheduled to take effect on December 28, 2024.

Apple’s own “Lightning” charging connector has been used in iPhones since 2012. In Europe, it was decided to prescribe the USB-C standard as the uniform charging technology.

With his warning, Breton referred to media reports that Apple is considering using an authentication chip to restrict charging or data transfer via accessories without Apple certification. “Devices that do not meet the requirements for the uniform charger will not be allowed on the EU market,” Breton emphasized. The Commission reminded Apple of this at a meeting in mid-March.

accusation against Apple

By the third quarter of this year, the Brussels authority intends to publish a guide to ensure a “uniform interpretation of the legislation”. The chairwoman of the EU Parliament’s internal market committee, the Green politician Anna Cavazzini, accused Apple of wanting to evade EU rules.

Apple does not comment on the reports or Breton’s letter. Apple has a certification program for the “Lightning” cables. The company warns that uncertified “Lightning” cables could damage devices or not work properly. It would be technically possible to only allow fast charging or high-speed data transfer with certified USB-C cables.

In October, the EU states had finally approved the project for uniform charging cables. They had previously negotiated a compromise on the details with the European Parliament. By the end of 2024, devices such as cell phones, tablets, e-readers, digital cameras, headphones, portable speakers and keyboards must be able to be charged via USB-C.