According to a new report, the European Commission is planning on introducing new legislation next month that could force mobile phone vendors to sell their products with a single standard charger. This means that Apple could be forced to remove its proprietary Lightning port from iPhone in place of USB-C.
EU to propose common charger legislation next month, could force iPhone to adopt USB-C
As reported by Reuters, the European Commission will soon present legislation to establish a common charger for mobile phones and other electronic devices within the 27-nation bloc. The move is expected to have the biggest impact on the Cupertino tech giant since many Android devices already feature USB-C connectivity.
Several years ago, the European Commission tried to reach a final verdict on the issue but it failed to materialize. At the time, the Cupertino tech giant warned the EU against the move saying that forcing a common charging port on the industry would create a significant amount of electronic waste as it would require consumers to switch to new cables.
A study in 2019 found that mobile devices in the EU came with three charging options. Half of the devices had a micro-USB connector, 29% had a USB-C port, and 21% were iPhones with Lightning connectors. The study also suggested five options for a common charger with options that cover ports on devices and ports on power adapters.
Last year, the European Parliament lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of a common charger citing a positive impact on the environment and convenience to users as the main advantages. Currently, the executive branch of the EU is drafting the legislation but it is unclear what its provisions might be, as per Reuters’ sources. The legislation is expected to be presented in September.
The report also notes that Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Nokia signed a voluntary memorandum of understanding to harmonize chargers for new models of smartphones coming into the market in 2011. This resulted in a significant reduction in the number of chargers. The market then converged to micro-USB, but the Cupertino tech giant introduced the Lightning connector with iPhone 5 in 2012 and has been using it ever since.