EU Lawmakers Vote Overwhelmingly in Favor of Single, Common Charger for Smartphones

image: Google

The European Parliament has voted 582 to 40 in favor of a common charger for mobile devices. This is great news for consumers from across the pond, many of whom have surely built up stockpiles of various charging accessories. The new rules are expected to make USB-C the standard when they go into effect in July.

A lot of reports are targeting Apple and the company’s proprietary Lightning connector, but it isn’t clear how the legislation will actually affect iPhone ports. That’s because the EU’s vote seems to concern chargers only, and Apple already utilizes USB-C-based power adapters. (Charging is merely performed with a USB-C to Lightning cable.)

The situation is doubly confusing because Apple had previously released a statement that suggested the legislation could force them to remove the Lightning connector on iPhones:

“Regulations that would drive conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones freeze innovation rather than encourage it. Such proposals are bad for the environment and unnecessarily disruptive for customers.”

“More than one 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.”

“We want to ensure that any new legislation will not result in the shipment of any unnecessary cables or external adaptors with every device, or render obsolete the devices and accessories used by many millions of Europeans and hundreds of millions of Apple customers worldwide.”

Apple did mention that it was planning to move to USB-C, so there will be probably be changes regardless.

The EU is hoping that the new legislation will reduce electronic waste, but Apple argues that it’ll result in the complete opposite, as consumers begin throwing out their “obsolete” accessories in droves.

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