Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: JUSTIN SULLIVAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP 22:39 p.m., September 12, 2023

Apple on Tuesday introduced its new range of smartphones, the iPhone 15, which features the universal USB-C charging port imposed by Europe for all smartphones, tablets and cameras put into circulation from the end of 2024. Apple, which cultivates its own ecosystem of products and services, has long opposed this European law.

Apple has finally given in: the Californian giant has integrated the universal charging port called "USB-C" to its new range of iPhone presented Tuesday, a year before being forced by a European law that it has long fought. "USB-C has become the universally accepted standard," said Kaiann Drance, a vice president of the California-based group, at the annual marketing event held three months before the holiday season.

Four new iPhones introduced

The universal port is not among the kind of technological innovations Apple likes to highlight, but Brussels has required electronics manufacturers to equip all new smartphones, tablets and cameras with a USB-C port by the end of 2024. "Now the same cable can charge your Mac (computer), iPad (tablet), iPhone and even your second-generation AirPods pro (wireless headphones)," Drance added. "If your AirPods battery is too low, or your Apple Watch (watch), you can charge them directly from your iPhone."

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Apple executives unveiled four new iPhones on Tuesday with, as every year, brighter screens, more sophisticated lenses and more advanced computer chips. The base model, the iPhone 15, will be marketed from $ 800, the same price as the iPhone 14 presented a year ago. The most expensive professional model, the iPhone 15 Pro Max, will cost at least $ 1,200, $ 100 more than its equivalent of the previous range.

"Common sense"

Integrating the USB-C port more broadly represents a small revolution for Apple's ecosystem of products and services, which is difficult to integrate with other systems. Even if some computers of the brand already included this plug. Two years ago, when the European text was under discussion, the American group tried to oppose it by arguing that its "Lightning" technology was already equipping more than a billion devices worldwide and that the new regulation would "stifle innovation", or even "harm consumers".

For the European Union, on the contrary, it is a question of making their lives easier and reducing the amount of electronic waste created as shippers become obsolete. "The common charger is common sense, and it is within reach," European Commissioner Thierry Breton said Tuesday in a statement sent to AFP. The measure is expected to save European consumers €250 million each year.

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During this year's presentation called "Wonderlust", a portmanteau that combines "desire to travel" and "wonder", Apple executives mainly reviewed the new technical characteristics of their devices, after a disappointing quarter for iPhone sales. The iPhone 15, for example, has "a ceramic shell that is resistant to water and dust," Drance boasted. "It retains its value longer than any other smartphone," she said.


From April to June, for the third quarter in a row, Apple recorded a year-on-year decline in revenue (-1.4%), to $ 81.8 billion. In question, sales down 2.4% for its flagship product, the iPhone. The new handset "will give Apple a new impetus as the holiday season approaches," Wedbush's Dan Ives said Tuesday. According to the analyst, the brand can count on its loyal user base and ready to buy a newer model. "We estimate that about 25% of the 1.2 billion people who have iPhones haven't updated their handset in 4 years," he said. He further believes that the increase in prices of the professional range is justified by "the more advanced technology, the new A17 chip and the better battery".

The first half of the presentation was devoted to new watches, including the Apple Watch Series 9, the group's "first carbon-neutral product," according to Lisa Jackson, the company's vice president of environment. Starting at $400 later this month, it performs tasks faster than previous models and allows the user to answer calls or play music simply by tapping their index finger against their thumb twice in a row. "It's going to become one of those magical everyday experiences," promised Jeff Williams, the Cupertino company's chief operating officer.