Apple seeks more time to comply with EU norm in older iPhones

Apple Inc has requested the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) to give it 18 to 24 months’ exemption to comply with the European Union (EU) regulation of putting an USB charging port in all its older smartphones, mainly iPhone 13 and iPhone 14, which are assembled, exported and also sold in the domestic market.

Apple’s stance is different  from that of Samsung, which has been pushing for an immediate implementation of the EU regulation.

All smartphones by the South Korean giant already comply with the EU rules.

While Samsung did not comment on the issue, an Apple Inc spokesperson said it will not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Most mobile device makers under the aegis of Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) are willing to implement the EU rules from June 1, 2025.

They have asked for six months’ extension after it is implemented in the EU.

Apple, though, is pushing for a further extension till June 2026 or December 2026 for the older iPhone models.

It has already implemented the regulation on iPhone 15 this year.

With the extended time, Apple expects that the demand for these phones globally and in India will become very small or non-existent.

Responding to the varying views on this, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, minister of state for electronics and information technology, said, “The matter is under deliberation.

“All views are under consideration. MeitY is yet to take a decision.”

The government has been pushing smartphone players to implement the universal port, which is expected to reduce the e-waste generated in the country.

It is also expected to save $271 million for consumers as they can charge various devices of different companies with the same charger.

Apple has stopped including the charger with its phones since iPhone 12.

According to sources who have attended meetings between the industry and MeitY on this issue, Apple Inc has said that more than 50 per cent of its production in India is accounted for by these two older models (the rest is the iPhone 15 which already has a common USB port) and the bulk of it is exported to non-EU countries, as no other country or region has such a regulation.

As much as 80 per cent of iPhone sales worldwide is in non-EU countries.

Apple claims, sources say, that any move to implement the new rules would adversely impact the production of older phones as it will not be possible to make two sets of the same model — one for exports and the other for the domestic market.

The company will then have no option but to stop its production, which would have an adverse impact on its production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme targets in FY 26.

Such a move could also affect its export commitment which in FY 24 could account for 75 per cent of its total production value from India, the company is said to have maintained.

Even in domestic sales, sources say, the bestselling iPhone in India is the one which is two models behind the new model launched (currently the bestselling model in India is the iPhone 13).

With this rule, Apple will have no option but to import the phone from China (where there is no such rule) by forking out 22 per cent duty, making it more expensive in India.

Apple has, however, assured the government that the iPhone 15 and all subsequent new phones will comply with the EU norms.

Apple Inc concerns

  • Apple has asked for more time to implant the EU rule on USB
  • Pointed out that more than 50 per cent of its production is of the older phones, iPhone 13 and iPhone 14, and they both exported and sold in India
  • The regulation will force it to stop production of the older models, impacting its PLI targets as well as its export numbers
  • It will force them to import older models from China at high duties for the domestic market, making them expensive
  • Non-EU markets account for 80 per cent of iPhone sales so they are a large export market where there are no such rules

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