Apple pushes back against EU plans for universal chargers 7 months ago

Apple pushes back against EU plans for universal chargers

Apple are firmly against.

The European Parliament has been trying for the best part of a decade to get phone manufacturers to agree to standardised phone chargers, with no real success.

MEPs have now called on the European Commission to come up with a proposal for the introduction of common chargers by July 2020.

The European Parliament's internal market and consumer protection committee is behind the initiative as its members want a common charger for smartphones, tablets, e-book readers, smart cameras and wearable technology.

The EU argues it would reduce waste and simplify matters for consumers.

However, Apple has come out strongly with its objections to the the proposed proposals.

The tech giant issued a statement arguing rules dictating a common connector in phones "stifles innovation" and that, overall, it would hurt the public more than it would help them.

Apple also suggested such a move would create an environmental problem by "disrupting" the hundreds of millions of people who use devices with Apple lightning ports.

The company further argued the industry is already consolidating around USB-C, meaning there's less need for large numbers of chargers than ever before, and making it mandatory would hurt Apple's ability to innovate.

You can read Apple's statement in full below.

"Apple stands for innovation and deeply cares about the customer experience. We believe regulation that forces conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, and would harm consumers in Europe and the economy as a whole.

"More than 1 billion Apple devices have shipped using a Lightning connector in addition to an entire ecosystem of accessory and device manufacturers who use Lightning to serve our collective customers. Legislation would have a direct negative impact by disrupting the hundreds of millions of active devices and accessories used by our European customers and even more Apple customers worldwide, creating an unprecedented volume of electronic waste and greatly inconveniencing users.

"We do not believe there is a case for regulation given the industry is already moving to the use of USB Type-C through a connector or cable assembly. This includes Apple's USB-C power adapter which is compatible with all iPhone and iPad devices. This approach is more affordable and convenient for consumers, enables charging for a wide range of portable electronic products, encourages people to re-use their charger and allows for innovation.

"Prior to 2009, the Commission considered mandating that all smartphones use only USB Micro-B connectors which would have restricted the advancement to Lightning and USB Type-C. Instead, the Commission established a voluntary, industry standards-based approach that saw the market shift from 30 chargers down to 3, soon to be two — Lightning and USB-C, showing this approach does work.

"We hope the Commission will continue to seek a solution that does not restrict the industry's ability to innovate and bring exciting new technology to customers."