Apple just killed the iPhone Lightning connector
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Apple is finally ditching its proprietary Lightning port in the iPhone 15 in favor of a charging cable compatible with non-Apple devices. Now you won’t have to worry about cluttering your nightstand with extra cords. Taking a weekend trip? You don’t have to worry about forgetting anything.

However, the move, hastened by a European regulatory mandate passed last year, is largely symbolic and comes years after most other gadgets switched to USB-C. Furthermore, it won’t make much of a difference in shrinking the mountains of e-waste piling up around the world.

Marian Chertow, professor of industrial environmental management at Yale School of the Environment, says the EU law and Apple represent an evolution rather than a revolution.

First, everyone agrees that having so many cables lying around is super annoying. Second, the European Commission cited two motivations for passing the directive last year. A common charger for all devices would “significantly reduce electronic waste,” regardless of whether they were made by Apple, Samsung, Garmin, or whoever.

At first, Apple resisted, partly because selling extra Lightning cables made it a lot of money. It also said the waste argument was misguided, and wireless charging would make the cable issue moot. In the end, however, the company said that it would abide by the regulations.