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EU isn’t too thrilled with the iPhone’s proprietary Lightning connector

Published Aug 8th, 2018 7:24PM EDT
iPhone Design
Image: Shutterstock

The EU is up to its old tricks again and there’s a chance, however slight, that it could impact the way some folks charge their iPhones. According to a report from Reuters, regulators in the EU are preparing to embark on a study designed to determine if there should be a singular charging standard. The impetus for the study is to not only make life easier for mobile users, but to stem a worrisome increase in the amount of electronic waste.

The European Commission has been championing a single charging standard for years now, but as any iPhone or Android user can attest, no discernible progress in this area has been made, nor is there reason to believe that handset makers will begin to work together in a meaningful fashion anytime soon. Apple of course uses a proprietary Lightning connector and, not surprisingly, the company has never been keen to work with rival handset makers to establish some sort of lowest common denominator standard. Android manufacturers, meanwhile, employ a mix of USB connectors.

In light of that, European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager recently suggested that perhaps tech companies need a little bit of a push.

“Given the unsatisfactory progress with this voluntary approach, the Commission will shortly launch an impact assessment study to evaluate costs and benefits of different other options,” Vestager said in an Aug. 1 response to a query from an EU lawmaker.

Such studies help the Commission decide whether there is a need for action and analyze the impact of various options.

While it remains to be seen what the study will ultimately reveal, Apple will presumably keep marching to the beat of its own drum. Though the Lightning connector isn’t going away anytime soon, there have been rumblings in the rumor mill that Apple might one day switch to a USB-C connector.

Yoni Heisler Contributor

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.