In September, the European Commission will propose to parliamentarians a bill providing for the use of chargers in the territory of the EU countries of a single sample approved by local authorities.
The European Commission at the level of its members has been promoting the corresponding project for more than ten years. The initiative came from well-known Bulgarian politicians and “caring citizens” Solomon and Gergana Passy and met with the support of other EU officials.
If the law is passed, Apple will suffer the most with its “proprietary” Lightning interfaces. According to the European Commission, in 2018, half of smartphones in the EU used Micro-USB Type-B for charging, 29% – Micro-USB Type-C and 21% – Lightning. It can be assumed that in the last year or two, the balance has changed noticeably in favor of the Type-C.
Back in 2011, Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Nokia signed a voluntary memorandum of understanding and “harmonization” of charging for new models, which led to a significant decrease in the variety of charger connectors and the massive distribution of Micro-USB Type-B. In 2018, representatives of the industry and the European Commission tried to come to a final decision, but they failed to reach a consensus.
Last year, EU parliamentarians already voted by a majority vote for the unified charger, taking into account the environmental and user-friendliness benefits, but the process for adopting a common standard still involves many steps.
Apple has warned that the introduction of a single charging standard across the EU will thwart innovation and “create a mountain of e-waste” if consumers are forced to switch to a new type of electronics.
In addition, many industry representatives and experts believe that the new law is not necessary at all – the vast majority of manufacturers are voluntarily switching to the Micro-USB Type-C standard. It is worth noting that in 2019 the commission proposed to consider as many as five options for unified charging.