EU lawmakers, eyeing Apple, overwhelmingly call for standard device charger

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.

Philip Blenkinsop for Reuters:

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.


  1. Except Apple doesn’t make a wireless charger and cancelled the one they were working on.

    You can bet that when this becomes law, EU regulators will interpret the law to find an Apple wireless charger to be in violation of the “standard” and insist that Apple add a USB-C port.

    Apple ought to be educating EU lawmakers (and any similar short-sighted people) until they realize that “standardizing” on any type of connection won’t just stifle progress… it will eliminate it.

    “Improvements” can’t be made to something if it can’t be changed.

    Except in the minds of the naively ignorant who believe science and progress are magic.

    1. ““Improvements” can’t be made to something if it can’t be changed.”

      Color Television, Stereo FM, Grounded AC plugs, Mac OS 9, MacOS Sierra, Headphone jack with mike/remote input, Playstation 2, Thunderbolt 3, LED light bulbs.

  2. Apple will probably have a wireless solution soon, one way or another, the question becomes, does it fit in an iPhone box in the space where a lighting cable coils up?

    These EU people are just idiots, a pile of group think that somehow making certain things all the same makes them better, has no clue how it can affect things down the road. Maybe they’re all getting kickbacks from some charger and cable company, who know?

  3. “EU consumers are no longer obliged to buy new chargers with each new device”

    Since when do people have to “buy new chargers with each new device”? They are bundled. You buy a phone, you get a charger with cable.

  4. Apple should be LISTENING to people, not educating them. People wouldn’t be trying to pass these laws if they weren’t frustrated with the situation. Did a standard AC outlet and voltage limit how we use electricity? Did standardized TV signals limit the introduction of television? Do standardized traffic laws interfere with automotive development? Apple’s “innovation” is just a cash grab, and it is debilitating to ordinary users.

    1. I’m just a luddite here who still uses an iPhone 5SE because it still has a headphone jack and fits in my shirt pockets. I’d love a newer iPhone, but I need three things:
      1. Apple to work with clothing manufacturers to make men’s shirts that can actually fit a giant iPhone.
      2. Apple to come out with a wireless charging device dock that works. C’mon, if Nikola Tesla could figure this out in the 19th century, Apple should be able to make this practical in the 21st.
      3. A case for a new iPhone that has both a lightning dock and a headphone jack.

    1. Different countries standardized on different AC outlets. And I think there is a special outlet for devices near water because normal british wiring can dump 7000 watts out of an electrical outlet without tripping anything.

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