In another setback to hit iPhone in the European Union is the bloc’s new law that would force smartphone manufacturers and other electronic makers to adopt standard chargers. This legislation looks to cut waste and make life easier for consumers by being able to use one charger for multiple devices.
However, this is a setback for Apple which uses its own Lightning port on the iPhone and the new law, which is years away from coming into effect, could compel the smartphone giant to make changes to its signature product. Apple said it would continue to engage with stakeholders to help find a solution that protects consumer interest.
“We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world,” Apple said in an official statement. “We share the European Commission’s commitment to protecting the environment and are already carbon neutral for all our corporate emissions worldwide.”
iPhone’s rivals Samsung and Huawei have equipped some of their latest phones with USB-C ports, while many of their older handsets have micro-USB ports. Apple has already adopted USB-C on devices such as the new iPad mini 6, but its iPhone 13 range has continued to use Lightning.
Margrethe Vestager, EU tech chief, in a statement said European consumers were frustrated long enough about the incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers. “We gave industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now the time is ripe for legislative action for a common charger. This is an important win for our consumers and environment, and in the line with our green and digital ambitions.”
According to the European Commission, EU citizens own three mobile phone chargers on average. But 38% of consumers have not been able to charge their phone on at least one occasion because they didn’t have the correct charger to hand. The Commission highlighted that about €2.4 billion is spent annually on standalone chargers that do not come with electronic devices.
Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner, noted that with more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. “We are putting an end to that.” The European Parliament, in 2020, had voted in favor of new rules on a common charger. If the proposal does become law, device makers will have two years to comply with the new legislation.