EU fight against Apple: Votes in favor of universal phone charger

Members of the European Parliament have voted in favor of introducing a single type of charging method for smartphones. However, Apple isn’t so happy about the decision.

Lighting Cables
There has been debate on if there should be a universal charging cable for mobile devices going forward. Photo: pxfuel

Overwhelming vote

582 MEPs voted in favor of the move while 40 were against it. The group will now communicate with the European Commission to introduce new legislation.

The BBC reports that Apple responded to the calls for change by stating that regulations that would drive conformity and could freeze innovation.

The Californian outfit uses the Lightning connector for its current phones. However, some of its other devices use USB-C. Meanwhile, modern Android devices use the latter.

Company concerns

Apple states that the move to one connector could be disruptive for customers while being bad for the environment.

“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,” Apple said as reported by the BBC.

“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.”

Lighting Cable
Apple Introduced the Lightning connector in September 2012. Photo: Apple

Apple is using environmental waste as reasoning against the use of one type of cable. However, the fact that the company has different cables across their devices creates more opportunities for waste in the first place.

The European Commission estimates that obsolete cables generate more than 51,000 tonnes of waste per year. Altogether, there has been a common drive to reduce the number of different charging cables out there. In 2009, there were 30 different types of chargers. Now, there are only three of them.

Industry innovation

Additionally, the firm is claiming that innovation would be lost. However, it has been accused of lacking in creativity already over the last few years.

While its tech counterparts have been experimenting with original concepts and new features, Apple’s devices have largely progressed at a slower pace in the last decade.

Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook would have to revise his company’s whole mobile product line to implement the changes. Photo: Apple

Nonetheless, it is innovation that could make this cable debate a thing of the past by the time this decade is over.

Wireless charging technology is improving by the year and is becoming the standard for many mobile phone users. Furthermore, wireless headphones and cloud storage are further reducing the need for a wired connection.

Battery technology is next to be at the forefront of the smartphone race over the next ten years. Therefore, manufacturers will be wanting to have autonomy when it comes to their accessories. Ultimately, Apple would naturally want control over its cables to get ahead in the race.

Do you think that Apple should conform to a universal cable? Let us know what your thoughts are in the comment section.

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