Apple pushes back against EU call for common phone charger

EU common phone charger: Apple's Lightning port
Apple’s Lightning port

Apple on Thursday again pushed back against European Union lawmakers’ call for a common phone charger standard, warning the move could hamper innovation, increase electronic waste, and harm consumers and the economy.


Apple’s comments came a week after lawmakers at the European Parliament called for a common charger for all mobile phones and amended a draft law to say the ability to work with common chargers would be an essential requirement for radio equipment in the bloc.

“We believe regulation that forces conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, and would harm consumers in Europe and the economy as a whole,” Apple said in a statement… “We hope the (European) Commission will continue to seek a solution that does not restrict the industry’s ability to innovate,” Apple said.

A study by Copenhagen Economics commissioned by Apple showed that consumer harm from a regulatory-mandated move to a common charger would cost at least 1.5 billion euros, outweighing the 13 million euros in associated environmental benefits.

MacDailyNews Take: If they’d passed such a law when this was initially proposed, we’d all be stuck with Mini USB (or even worse) today. By the time the EU gets around to making a law mandating a common phone charger (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.


    1. It doesn’t break. Mini USB. Micro USB. USB-C. Horribly flimsy cables and ports.
      Now, I may be cutting my own financial throat by saying that, because I’m a repair guy and fixing those fragile ports does make me a lot of money.

    2. It’s reversible. That alone makes a big difference to me. Not to mention it is slightly tapered making it easier to connect in the dark than even the USB-C. I easily save 10 or 15 seconds every night plugging in my phone and can now use all that time saved for more useful purposes –like fluffing my pillow.

      If your neck hurts in the morning, it is most likely caused by your phone connector.

    1. next time you sit on that clean beach, somewhere along the coast of Great Britain, thank the EU for pushing our government t o put into the laws that allowed this to happen.

  1. Though I might agree philosophically with Apple’s position, they all had it coming. Most are a blatant rip off.

    But Apple, look at the bright side… a brand new dongle!

    “We believe regulation that forces conformity…” said the owner of iOS, censor, and sole purveyor of iOS applications.

  2. All Apple iPhone chargers are standard. They all have a standard USB-A out port and can be used to charge a myriad types of products; ‘Apple’ and ‘non-Apple’.
    The chargers we should get rid off are the ones with an unremovable cable because they can only be used by products with that 1 particular connector at the end of that cable.
    But even the USB-A out port might be changed sometime in the future. You can not stop innovation for eternity.

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