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Apple warns India’s USB-C charger dictate will hurt local iPhone production target, seeks exemption on older models

Tuesday December 5, 2023. 02:58 PM , from Mac Daily News
Apple’s Lightning port
Apple has told India its local production targets will be negatively impacted if New Delhi requires existing iPhones to have USB-C charging ports, a government document shows as the company lobbies for an exemption on older iPhones or delay while older Lightning port-equipped iPhones are phased out.
Aditya Kalra and Munsif Vengattil for Reuters:

India wants to implement a European Union rule that will require smartphones to have a universal USB-C charging port, and has been in talks with manufacturers about introducing the requirement in India by June 2025, six months after the deadline in the EU.
In a closed-door Nov. 28 meeting chaired by India’s IT ministry, Apple asked officials to exempt existing iPhone models from the rules, warning it will otherwise struggle to meet production targets set under India’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, according to the meeting minutes seen by Reuters.
PLI is a key project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and offers electronic manufacturers in India fiscal incentives for fresh investments and incremental phone sales each year. It has been extensively used by Apple suppliers like Foxconn to expand iPhone manufacturing in the country.
Apple did not quantify the production impact in the meeting, and the IT ministry decided to review its request and reach a decision later, two people familiar with the discussions said…
[The new] iPhone 15 has the new universal charging port. Apple told Indian officials in the meeting that the “design of the earlier products cannot be changed,” the document showed.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, it would be cost-prohibitive to redesign older iPhones, replacing Lightning ports with USB-C; older iPhones should be allowed to be phased out naturally.
Apple oldest iPhone currently sold as new is currently the iPhone 13 family, which began being offered for sale in September 2021. In normal cadence, Apple would replace that with the iPhone 14 as the oldest iPhone in 2024 and the iPhone 15 family – with USB-C ports – would become the oldest in 2025. iPhone SE (4th generation), should Apple continue with the SE lineup, would be released with USB-C before 2025, completing the iPhone’s transition to USB-C.
India should exempt iPhones since the rules are forcing one company to change their ports while other companies have to do nothing (while they continue to ripping off Apple by peddling iPhone knockoffs).

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