Killing Off the iPhone Lightning Port Might Not Be Apple’s Decision After All

The European Union has restarted talks over the implementation of a universal charging port on electronic devices, a decision that would first and foremost impact Cupertino-based tech giant Apple.

iPhones currently ship with a proprietary Lightning port, despite the EU’s 2014 recommendations for a switch to a common charger port.

However, EU lawmakers noted in a January 13 meeting that efforts in this regard have so far been rather disappointing, so they once again call for a common charging port to be used across all devices.

Pointing to the electronic waste that is produced due to the use of different chargers, the EU says a common charger should fit “all mobile phones, tablets, e-book readers, and other devices.’

“The Commission’s approach of “encouraging” industry to develop common chargers fell short of the co-legislators’ objectives. The voluntary agreements between different industry players have not yielded the desired results,” the EU explains.

Apple sticks with Lightning

Apple, on the other hand, doesn’t agree with the use of a universal port on all electronics, explaining that this seriously affects innovation because it eliminates the competition factor in this area.

Furthermore, Apple explains, the switch to a common charger would only generate more waste, as manufacturers not using the voted standard would eventually stick with their own proprietary formats, instead bundling dongles and adapters with their devices.

“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 to serve our collective customers,” Apple said last year when talks on the common charger resurfaced.

“We want to ensure that any new legislation will not result in the shipment of any unnecessary cables or external adaptors with every device, or render obsolete the devices and accessories used by many millions of Europeans and hundreds of millions of Apple customers worldwide. This would result in an unprecedented volume of electronic waste and greatly inconvenience users. To be forced to disrupt this huge market of customers will have consequences far beyond the stated aims of the Commission.”

There’s a good chance no decision over a standardized charging port would be made anytime soon, and everything would just remain a voluntary agreement between industry players.

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