Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Maybe It's Time Apple Ditched Lightning for USB

Maybe It's Time Apple Ditched Lightning for USB

Unless the EC forces Apple to dump its Lightning adaptor, it's unlikely to do so itself, given the amount of cash it makes from users having to cough up for its proprietary accessories, on top of the licensing fees it makes from third-party firms using its connector.

The commission will investigate how it can push the smartphone industry to adopt one universal battery charger, the EU's competition chief, Margrethe Vestager, said earlier this month.

Nearly a decade ago, we had most phone vendors using their own chargers and ports, which made charging devices a hassle especially if you've left the charger at home and also led to accumulation of unwanted chargers e-waste.

The EC, citing the "lack of progress" by phone makers, said it would shortly launch an impact assessment study to evaluate costs and benefits of a genuine universal charger.

She made the remarks when asked what rules the European Union could adopt to standardize smartphone battery chargers "irrespective of make or model". News of the action was first reported by Reuters.

14 companies including Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Nokia signed a voluntary memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2009, agreeing to harmonise chargers for new models of smartphones coming into the market in 2011.

The commission is once again planning to investigate the issue of multiple phone connectors in the market, noting that despite directions almost 10 years ago which abolished most proprietary connectors in favour of micro-USB, there were still different connectors for different vendors.

This wasn't a violation of the original agreement. If the decision will be taken, manufacturers like Apple, who use a proprietary connector (the Lightning), will have to adopt the standard imposed, whatever that might be, or face large nonconformity fines or even bans.

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