Apple should ditch lightning and get with USB-C for the sake of the environment

  • AUTHOR: midhat
  • POSTED ON: October 21, 2020

So, Apple has decided not to include charging
brick or Air Pods with future Apple iPhones, and that too, for environmental reasons.
According to their logic, lesser the accessories with the new box, lesser the
material used for production, and lesser the waste; lesser accessories will
also allow the items to fit into a smaller box.

Moreover, apparently, smaller boxes are more
convenient to ship. So moving on with this decision, when you by iPhone, you will only get a
handset and lightning to USB-C cable in the iPhone 12 box.

Apple’s intentions are generally good, but if they
really want to be so environmentally friendly, they could have ditched its
proprietary lightning port entirely and incorporated USB-C instead.

USB-C could be a good replacement of lightning to
USB-C cable, which can charge almost all of your gadgets. Even better, Apple
could have entirely removed the cable and just shipped the handset to avoid
more waste.

Source: The Verge

It may appear to be a minor change for an
individual person purchasing an iPhone, but it can turn out to be massive
considering the fact that Apple ships over 200 million phones each year.
Chargers may contribute to a comparatively small amount of total e-waste, but on
the global level, that still makes up to thousands of metric tons
yearly. Also as the absence of headphone jacks on 2020s flagship smartphones
indicates, Apple has made a significant impact on the entire industry.

Maybe more companies would jump in to support
Apple’s stance in the near future.

USB-C has
already become mainstream

Let’s admit this: USB-C has never been a perfect
standard. Its naming scheme has been quite problematic (currently it is called
USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 for Christ’s sake!), and there is an abundance of bad cables
in the market. In simpler terms, USB-C may be a mediocre connection, but it is
also the best one yet.

USB-C has reached new heights in 2020: It’s used
in true wireless earbuds, VR headsets, tablets, laptops, over-ear headphones
and laptop accessories. The widespread availability of USB-C is only a bonus,
and it has all the functionalities that a normal Apple’s lightning USB-C can

There’s hardly anything that lightning actually
does better than the USB-C. If Apple really does care about the environment,
maybe it’s time to break the long-running status quo of using a lightning USB

Surely, most of us have a separate drawer filled
with many spare power adaptors which we never use, so Apple’s decision with the
iPhone 12 is fairly justified and reasonable. Cutting out duplicate accessories
with a new handset can be a sustainable decision, if the company is trying to
cut down on the estimated 5.3 million metric tons of electronic waste we
disposed of last year.

Updated October 21, 2020
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