EU Revisits Plans To Ditch Apple Lightning Cable

These MFi-certified Lightning cables are sheathed in steel and designed to last forever

"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 Margrethe Vestager from the EU.

As the vast majority of devices now use micro USB-B or USB-C for some newer devices, the gripe does seem to be directed at Apple.

For almost a decade the European Commission has lobbied for a common mobile charging standard, asserting over 51,000 tons of electronic waste gathers yearly from old chargers.

Many phone makers voluntarily promised to standardize chargers, and while a lot of progress has been made, the European Union isn't satisfied - so, they're now thinking of making it mandatory.

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.


"An "impact assessment study" will help the EC decide whether there is a need for action and analyse the impact of various options", according to the report, with Vestager's internal market colleague, Elzbieta Bienkowska, placed in charge of the issue.

Back in 2009, 14 companies including Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Nokia signed a voluntary memorandum of understanding (MoU), in which they agreed to harmonize chargers of their new smartphone models coming out in 2011.

Android OEMs, on the other hand, have started the transition to USB Type-C, which does offer most of the advantages of Apple's Lightning Connector but there are many budget Android devices still using the older micro-USB standard.

This wasn't a violation of the original agreement. Apple of course uses a proprietary Lightning connector and, not surprisingly, the company has never been keen to work with rival handset makers to establish some sort of lowest common denominator standard.

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