EU May Get Tough on Apple, Other Companies With Non-Standard Mobile Chargers

The EU might compel Apple to switch to more universal connector standards such as USB-C

For the past decade, the commission has been using voluntary agreements to encourage the tech industry to get behind a universal charger. It turns out that the Commission has ordered a study to determine if and when punitive actions have to be taken against companies that refuse to standardize the chargers that go with their electronic devices, phones included.

As previously reported, in 2009 fourteen phone manufacturers - including Apple, Samsung and Huawei - signed a MoU to create universal chargers for new phone models by 2011.

The move comes in a bid to put an end to both the "inconvenience to consumers" and charger clutter, with gadget users chucking away 51,000 tonnes of old chargers every year.

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"An "impact assessment study" will help the EC decide whether there is a need for action and analyse the impact of various options", according to the report, with Vestager's internal market colleague, Elzbieta Bienkowska, placed in charge of the issue. Some companies reportedly signed the letter of intent to follow up on the agreement after the initial memorandum expired, but the situation of phone charger fragmentation still persists.

"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 the MEP query response.

Owing to the European Commission's intention to start an investigation for finding out if all the phone makers are using common mobile charger, Apple might have to employ USB-C port in its future smartphones. Moreover, it's upcoming iPhones, which are expected to come by September, are also predicted to come with the ongoing charging port. Since most devices use Type-C today, if Apple switched cords, you could bring one cord for all of your devices.

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