Maybe It's Time Apple Ditched Lightning for USB

10 August, 2018, 09:53 | Author: Patty Hardy
  • The EU might compel Apple to switch to more universal connector standards such as USB-C

European Union regulators plan to study whether there is a need for action in the push for a common mobile phone charger following a lack of progress by phone makers towards this goal, European Union competition chief Margrethe Vestager said.

For the past decade, the commission has been using voluntary agreements to encourage the tech industry to get behind a universal charger.

The EU will reportedly commence a study to decide whether there's a need for new action, whilst analysing the effect of other options. The EU clearly directed companies to coordinate and come up with a universal type of charger; micro-USB was the mutually decided type then. EU Commissioners for Competition and Internal Market, Margrethe Vestager and Elzbieta Bienkowska, are investigating the feasibility of charger compatibility between various mobile devices.

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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.

It was in 2009 that 14 smartphone manufacturers agreed and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which asked them to use a common mobile charging port for all their models. 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.

One major reason behind this is the obvious differences in the chargers used by iPhones and Android devices. iPhones have been using a lightning connector since its introduction in 2011 with the iPhone 5, while most Android devices have transitioned from using a microUSB connector to the more current USB Type-C connector. Apple of course uses a proprietary Lightning connector and, not surprisingly, the company has never been keen to work with rival handset makers to establish some sort of lowest common denominator standard.

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