MEPs vote for universal phone connection and an end to Apple Lightning

Monday, 03 Feb, 2020

The resolution passed with 582 votes in favour to 40 against, reports the BBC.

The EU Commission reminded the public that the resolution, based on voluntary agreements in the industry, significantly reduced the number of types of chargers, but did not lead to a common standard.

Android phones have a USB-C charger while iPhones used a Lightning cable.

Most portable devices use USB-C ports nowadays, so we could be close to saying goodbye to Micro-USB ports and Lightning connectors.

Although a spokesperson for Apple had no rapid response to Thursday's decision, the tech big mentioned in an announcement final week that shifting to one charger would stifle innovation and create environmental waste. Obviously, this gamble has not paid off as "the European Union executive is now reviewing the legislation and has included the shared charger as one of the measures planned for this year".

The resolution has ordered the Commission to adopt new rules by July.

The MEPs want to make it possible for consumers to use a single charger for all smartphone and tablet models.

The resolution extols wireless chargers as a way to reduce electronic waste but notes that the rules written by the Commission should ensure that chargers can work with various phone brands.

Apple moved away from its original 30-pin connector in 2012 when the lightning cable emerged with the release of the iPhone 4.

But it reiterated the need to ensure wireless chargers are able to charge many different mobile devices. In Europe, complete e-waste generated in 2016 was 12.three million metric tonnes, equal to 16.6kg on common per inhabitant.

The lingering question - beyond whether Apple will ever get onboard - is just what's involved in complying with the EU's vision of a "common charger".

Whatever happens, it's unlikely this ruling is anything more than a minor inconvenience for Apple, and it doesn't mean your current iPhone will become redundant any time soon. "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", Apple argues. The Commission can implement the universal charger by amending the existing radio equipment directive from 2014 or proposing new legislation.

Over one billion have shipped consuming lightning connector additionally an entire ecosystem of accessory and device producers who use Lightning to offer our collective consumers.