When Apple first unveiled the Lightning connector I have to admit that I was more than a little skeptical.
But after using it for almost six years I have to say that it's a solid connector. In that time I've never had a problem with the socket or the connector itself on any device (the cables themselves, now that's another matter.
I find it to be far more robust than the USB-C connector. I can't remember how many USB-C connectors I've accidentally damaged or crushed.
USB-C connectors are chunky, far bulkier than the Lightning connector. That bulky connector might be at home on a laptop, but it feels gigantic on a smartphone.
The European Commission's concern is that the differing charging standards is generating additional e-waste. But things are very different these days compared to how things were back in 2009 when the EU last stepped in to try to standardize chargers.
These days chargers are standardized, making use the USB standard, and it's only the cable that we plug into the charger that's the issue. Gone are the days of chargers with integrated cables.
Why doesn't Apple just ditch Lightning and make the iPhone 100 percent wire-free, moving over to wireless charging and wireless connectivity to other devices over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth? It means one less port to have to fit (and find room for), one less hole for dirt, debris, and moisture t get into the device, and a move forward to a wireless future.
Cheap and plentiful. Far, far cheaper than Apple's official Lighting cable, and cheaper than most MFi-compliant cables too.
Not only do I have accessories that use the Lightning connector, but I also have old stuff that used Apple's 30-pin connector that I still use thanks to the 30-pin-to-Lightning converter that Apple made.
Apple making the switch from Lightning to USB would no doubt generate additional e-waste (I doubt Apple would make a 30-pin-to-USB converter for all of us still using older gear).
I've lost count of the number of connectors I've broken or crushed. Even carrying a cable in a pocket along with a few keys and coins seems risky.
I've lost a number of cables this way. Again, carrying them in a pocket, or exposing them to sand or grit seems to be the end for them (and it also risks damaging the connector on the device, which is far more expensive to replace than a cable.
Here is a photo of a cable that had been in an industrial environment for only a few weeks.
If you're still using your old phone charger and don't want to give up on it (or the cable), Apple makes a micro USB to Lightning adapter. Yeah, at $19 is crazy expensive, but so is everything Apple makes.
No USB-C? No problem, just use a regular USB-A port. No compatibility issues whatsoever.
Manufacturers not having to pay apple a licensing fee for the Lighting connector would pave the way for cheaper accessories. But bear in mind that "cheaper" doesn't necessarily mean "better."
Apple's current crop of MacBooks all feature USB-C. If this port is good enough for the MacBook, why not for the iPhone?