EU reg­u­la­tors may force Ap­ple to ditch Light­ning for fu­ture iPhones

Union frus­trated at lack of progress in cre­ation of sin­gle stan­dard.

APC Australia - - Tech Notes - Harry Do­man­ski

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.

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