EU lawmakers overwhelmingly called on Thursday for rules to establish a standard charger for all mobile device makers across Europe, a plan Apple has repeatedly criticized.
Members of the European Parliament voted by 582-40 for a resolution urging the European Commission, which drafts EU laws, to ensure that EU consumers are no longer obliged to buy new chargers with each new device. The Commission should adopt new rules by July, the lawmakers’ resolution said…
A move to a common charger would affect Apple more than any other company as iPhones and most of its mobile products are powered by its Lightning cable, whereas Android devices are powered by USB-C connectors.
Apple said last week that the industry was already moving to USB-C and that regulation to force conformity would stifle innovation, harming European consumers. An abrupt switch would itself result in a mountain of e-waste, it said.
MacDailyNews Take: Again, it’s a bad idea for the EU to attempt to force Apple to dump iPhone’s Lightning port, but it’ll very likely not be an issue.
If the EU had passed such a law when this was initially proposed, we’d all be stuck with MicroUSB today.
The reason this EU effort won’t matter to Apple is that 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), iPhones and iPads won’t have any ports at all. As it stands even today, the Lightning port on our iPhones is largely superfluous.
More than one 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. Legislation would have a direct negative impact by disrupting the hundreds of millions of active devices and accessories used by our European customers and even more Apple customers worldwide, creating an unprecedented volume of electronic waste and greatly inconveniencing users. — Apple Inc.