European Union might force Apple to ditch Lightning connector in favour of USB

Could this new push for one charging standard fry Apple's Lightning port

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.

If you are annoyed by all the different ports, power outputs, and fast charging standards spanning various mobile phone chargers, you are not alone.

"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.

14 manufacturers, including Samsung, Apple, Huawei, and Nokia have signed, in 2009, a voluntary memorandum of understanding (MoU).

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The commission will investigate how it can push the smartphone industry to adopt one universal battery charger, the EU's competition chief, Margrethe Vestager, said earlier this month. The deadline passed, and while similar letters of intent emerged in 2013 and 2014, the frustration of iPhones and Android devices having different chargers continues to plague the digital society.

At this point, where the European Union is planning to take strict steps towards the enforcement of this undertaking, Reuters reports, only Apple seems to be the one that would be singled out because majority of the other companies are voluntarily adopting the USB Type-C chargers and ports.

Californian-based Apple has embraced USB-C [Thunderbolt 3] on its MacBooks, however, thus far has refused to swap the Lightning port on mobile phones. Well, it cites the 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste thrown out each year - much of which is old phone chargers and adapters.

The EU has proven that they are not shy to intervene on behalf of consumers, even against vast multi-national companies.

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