EU wants to force all smartphone makers to use the same charging port

Apple's Lightning port
Apple’s Lightning port

European Parliament:

To reduce electronic waste and make consumers’ life easier, MEPs [Members of the European Parliament] want binding measures for chargers to fit all mobile phones and other portable devices.

In the 2014 Radio Equipment Directive, EU lawmakers called for a common charger to be developed and gave the Commission powers to pursue this via a delegated act.

The Commission’s approach of “encouraging” industry to develop common chargers fell short of the co-legislators’ objectives. The voluntary agreements between different industry players have not yielded the desired results.

A common charger should fit all mobile phones, tablets, e-book readers and other portable devices, MEPs will insist.

Last January, Apple provided feedback on this issue.

European Commission:

Apple stands for innovation. Regulations that would drive conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones freeze innovation rather than encourage it. Such proposals are bad for the environment and unnecessarily disruptive for customers.

More than 1 billion Apple devices have shipped using a Lightning connector in addition to an entire ecosystem of accessory and device manufacturers who use Lightning to serve our collective customers. We want to ensure that any new legislation will not result in the shipment of any unnecessary cables or external adaptors with every device, or render obsolete the devices and accessories used by many millions of Europeans and hundreds of millions of Apple customers worldwide. This would result in an unprecedented volume of electronic waste and greatly inconvenience users. To be forced to disrupt this huge market of customers will have consequences far beyond the stated aims of the Commission.

Beginning in 2009, Apple led industry efforts to work together to promote a common charging solution. And with the emergence of USB Type-C, we have committed alongside six other companies that all new smartphone models will leverage this standard through a connector or a cable assembly. We believe this collective effort by many of the industry’s leading companies is better for innovation, better for consumers and better for the environment.

MacDailyNews Take: By the time the EU gets around to making this law (it was proposed back in 2014 and it’ll still take many more years, if they ever even get there), Apple’s iPhones and iPads won’t have any ports at all. As it stands even today, the Lightning port on our iPhones is largely superfluous.

22 Comments

  1. “We want to ensure that any new legislation will not result in the shipment of any unnecessary cables or external adaptors with every device, or render obsolete the devices and accessories used’

    Apple said THIS? The same Apple that changes and removes ports every two years for no damn reason but to sell more adaptors? Total BS.

    You can have more the one plug on a phone! And the original point of Lightning was that it was supposed to be easy to add capabilities to it. What Apple (and Intel with USB) is doing with these constantly changing ports is just abusive, and I hope Europe stops them.

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