Europe Wants iPhone and Android Smartphones to Use the Same Charging Port

The European Parliament has voted 582-40 in favor of setting a new common standard for charging cables. The European Union will now have to draft a law by July and vote on it so that it can be implemented.

The overwhelming votes in favor of a common charging standard show that the European Parliament understands that the amount of e-waste being generated by using different charging standards can be reduced by using a single standard across smartphones.

Android OEMs have already switched over to USB-C for charging purposes on their devices. Apple is the only company that continues to stick to using its Lightning connector on the iPhone for charging purposes thereby creating fragmentation.

A single charging standard will avoid a lot of frustration and headache for end-users and allow for a better user experience. It will also lead to less wastage of cables and their requirements which would be beneficial for the environment.

“Continuing fragmentation of the market for chargers for mobile phones and other small and medium-sized electronic devices translates into an increase in e-waste and consumer frustration,” the resolution said.

Apple has already issued a statement on this matter saying a single charging connector across all smartphones will stifle innovation.

“We believe regulation that forces conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphone stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, and would harm consumers in Europe and the economy as a whole,” Apple said in a statement published in the Financial Times. “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.”

You can read the draft resolution here.

Our Take

Apple has already switched over to USB-C connectivity on its iPad Air and iPad Pro lineup. However, for the iPhones, it continues to stick to the Lightning connector despite USB-C now becoming ubiquitous. The company has switched over to providing USB-C to Lightning cables with its latest iPhones but that’s about it.

Do you think Apple should switch to a USB-C port on iPhones? Or should it stick with the Lightning connector to maintain compatibility with the hundreds of accessories available for the platform?

[Via Vice]

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