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  • Voltaire Staff

Apple urges India to delay USB-C charger ruling, warns of production glut

A USB-C charger. Image Courtesy: Unsplash

Apple has moved to the Indian IT Ministry to request an exemption from the new USB-C charging rule in the country contending the implementation of the rule may throw its local production off stride.

India aims to adopt a European Union regulation mandating the incorporation of a universal USB-C charging port in smartphones.

On October 23, the ministers of the EU Council gave their final approval for the common charger directive.

According to the plan, all electronic devices meant to be used in the EU will be required to have USB-C ports.

The rationale behind the directive is that a universal connector will enhance consumer convenience and substantially decrease electronic waste with the use of a single charger across devices.

Discussions with manufacturers are underway to implement this requirement in India by June 2025, aligning with the EU's deadline but with a six-month lag. While Samsung and other manufacturers have expressed agreement with India's proposal, Apple is resistant.

According to Reuters, during a private meeting on November 28, organised by India's IT ministry and attended by Apple, the company requested that existing iPhone models be exempted from new regulations.

Apple argued that complying with the rules could hinder its ability to achieve production targets outlined in India's production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, a programme providing financial incentives to electronic manufacturers for investments and increased phone sales.

The meeting minutes, as reported by Reuters, revealed that Apple, through its regulatory and product compliance executives.

Apple has traditionally employed a distinctive lightning connector port for its iPhones.

The EU contends that a standardised charging solution could result in significant cost savings of approximately $271 million (around Rs 2,259 crore) for consumers. India supports the move, emphasising its potential to minimize electronic waste and enhance user convenience.

Although Apple's use of USB-C in the iPhone 15 aligns with the specified criteria, a substantial portion of its sales in India involves older iPhone models not meeting the requirements.

Apple proposed that it could comply with the specified timeline, set for June 2025, if existing models were exempted from the rules. However, Apple indicated that without such an exemption, it would require an additional 18 months beyond 2024 to achieve compliance.

In the context of market share, Apple currently holds six per cent of India's rapidly growing smartphone market, a notable increase from the two per cent it had just four years ago.

According to Counterpoint Research, Apple suppliers have expanded their facilities, and a substantial portion of iPhone 12, 13, 14, and 15 models are manufactured in India to cater to both local sales and exports.

The well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that approximately 12-14 per cent of iPhone production in 2023 will originate from India. This percentage is expected to increase significantly, potentially reaching up to 25 per cent in the following year.


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