The resolution says that spontaneous agreements between some technology companies have significantly reduced the types of chargers in circulation. MEPs will now urge the European Commission (EC) to adopt the new rules. Apple's Lightning doesn't now do anything USB-C can't, and the difference in cables can prove a major inconvenience for consumers.
"More than 1 billion Apple devices have shipped using a Lightning connector in addition to an entire ecosystem of accessory and device manufacturers who use Lightning", Apple said last week.
iPhone-maker Apple has campaigned in opposition to any law that will require it to undertake a regular charger, which might pressure it to fall in keeping with Android telephones and use a USB-C connector as an alternative of its personal Lightning connector. As expected, though, Apple has already opposed the move, saying that regulation to force conformity would stifle innovation and hurt consumers.
The European Union has been gently but persistently pushing manufacturers toward a common unified standard for charging electronic devices for more than a decade, but it seems that it's finally chose to ramp up its efforts, with plans to turn its requests into actual regulations. Therefore, consumers face different types of chargers in the market, and sometimes even need to purchase new chargers for each device separately.
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To date, the Commission's approach to the problem of electronic charger waste has been to rely on the industry to take voluntary measures to reduce unnecessary variety.
Apple moved away from its original 30-pin connector in 2012 when the lightning cable emerged with the release of the iPhone 4. The new guidelines have been ordered to be adopted by July this year. It estimates that the total e-waste generated in 2016 was 12.3 million metric tonnes, equivalent to 16.6 kg on average per inhabitant. With Apple's opposition to the EU's proposed mandate, it's very likely the company will still try to find whatever loopholes it can.
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".
Apple argues that the new rules would stifle innovation, which the European Union rejects.
A common charger that can charge different phones would mean that people don't have to dump their older chargers and can continue using them, thereby reducing e-waste.