EU regulators may force Apple to ditch Lightning for future iPhones
Union frustrated at lack of progress in creation of single standard.
The European Union (EU) will study whether there is a need for more action to force the mobile industry to adopt a common charger that can be used with any smartphone. European policymakers have been keen for a single standard for more than a decade. Their reasons? The significant amount of electronic waste caused by unused chargers, and the inconvenience suffered by Android and iPhone users who need different cables for different devices. Although much of the industry has since settled on the newer USB Type-C plug, Apple is still pushing its proprietary Lightning standard, which it originally launched with the iPhone 5 in 2012. Lightning is now used in all models of the iPhone and iPad, with Apple claiming the connector affords it more freedom to design its products.
“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,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Verstager said in a statement to Reuters. It would seem as though Apple would be most vulnerable to any such move and could be forced to adapt the designs of its new devices if the EU decides to take action.