Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Industry | By Terrell Bush

EU Revisits Plans To Ditch Apple Lightning Cable

EU Revisits Plans To Ditch Apple Lightning Cable

It turns out that the Commission has ordered a study to determine if and when punitive actions have to be taken against companies that refuse to standardize the chargers that go with their electronic devices, phones included.

The Commission has been trying to get mobile phone companies to use the same charger for almost a decade, citing both customer inconvenience and 51,000 tons of yearly electronic waste from old chargers as the primary reasons. Back in 2009, the EC pressured Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Nokia and 10 other companies to agree to work towards a common charger standard by 2011. Some companies reportedly signed the letter of intent to follow up on the agreement after the initial memorandum expired, but the situation of phone charger fragmentation still persists. Regulators want a standard phone charger to cut down on over 51,000 tons of old chargers and cables disposed of each year. But then we got microUSB, Lightning chargers on iPhones, QI wireless charging and now USB-C.

'Given the unsatisfactory progress with this voluntary approach, the Commission will shortly launch an impact assessment study to evaluate costs and benefits of different other options, ' said the EU's competition chief Margrethe Vestager. However, if the companies come to an agreement with the European Union, there's no reason why this can't work.

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Nearly a decade ago, we had most phone vendors using their own chargers and ports, which made charging devices a hassle especially if you've left the charger at home and also led to accumulation of unwanted chargers e-waste.

The word "study" shouldn't put Apple at ease since that's the last stage that the Commission uses to determine how to punish those who don't comply, and at the end of the process, there is usually legislation that will be enforced in one way or another.

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