Maybe It's Time Apple Ditched Lightning for USB

EU charger

According to reports, European regulators are working to force Apple to switch charging cords to USB Type-C, what nearly every other smartphone uses.

The European Commission has been pushing for a charging standard across mobile devices for a decade.

Now Margrethe Vestager and Elzbieta Bienkowska, from the EU Commissioners for Competition and the Internal Market, has a new target, or rather an old one revisited.

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"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 1 August response to a query from an MEP.

Many phone makers voluntarily promised to standardize chargers, and while a lot of progress has been made, the European Union isn't satisfied - so, they're now thinking of making it mandatory.

Back in 2009, 14 companies including Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Nokia signed a voluntary memorandum of understanding (MoU), in which they agreed to harmonize chargers of their new smartphone models coming out in 2011. In the following years, almost all smartphone vendors designed their products to work with micro-USB charging - except for Apple, which introduced the Lightning connector in 2012. Fast charging formats only added more confusion, as the standard USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) format coexists with Qualcomm's proprietary Quick Charge technology, which started to be compatible with the USB-PD only in the 4.0 version.

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The original agreement was valid for a two-year period and was subsequently extended.

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.

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