India has proposed a new law that will require that all phones sold in the country use USB-C ports, just like the European Union law that will require exactly the same thing starting from 2024. If India's law does arrive, it'll come into effect from 2025. But that's still worrying news for Apple and the company has already sought to push back on the plans.
While Apple switched the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro devices to USB-C this past September in an attempt to meet the EU's USB-C requirement, the situation in India is more complicated. With the Indian market preferring to spend less money and buy older models, Apple might find it difficult to sell devices if the Lightning port is effectively banned. The older iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 lineups would not be available, causing Apple problems in more ways than one.
While only offering expensive iPhone 15 models would affect Apple's ability to sell to Indian customers, another issue presents itself according to a Reuters report. Apple currently produces some iPhones in India as part of the country's production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme. That scheme means that Apple gets financial incentives to produce iPhones in the country, but it says that it will struggle to meet the required quota if Indian customers aren't allowed to buy the Lightning-powered devices.
To get around this issue Apple wants older phones to be exempt from the new law, but it isn't clear whether that will happen. If it doesn't, Apple will be left in a sticky situation - it can't just swap out the Lightning port in older iPhones and replace it with a USB-C port, for example.