European Union members have voted strongly in favor of a common charger for smartphone manufacturers in Europe. Despite Apple’s efforts to convince European Union lawmakers in the name of innovation, almost 93% of the votes were in favor of a common charger.
Members of the European Union parliament voted 582-40 in favor of a common charger. A resolution was drafted which would push the European Commission to introduce new laws by July 2020. EU aims to ensure that customers don’t have to buy new chargers every time they buy a new smartphone. The lawmakers intend to reduce electronic waste through this move.
While this move seems like it will benefit the environment, it also seems like it will benefit manufacturers who would be happy to make chargers optional with their smartphones. This will save them a lot of money over the long run. Most Android smartphones manufacturers don’t even include USB-C headphones with their devices, which means that customers have to purchase them separately. So, there is a high likelihood that this move might benefit manufacturers more than it might benefit customers.
Out of all smartphone manufacturers, Apple is the main company that would be severely impacted by this law. Compared to other manufacturers, Apple has simply refused to offer USB-C on iPhone and iPad (sans the latest iPad Pro) which means that customers have to use a separate charger for their iOS devices at a time when every MacBook and Android smartphone has gone all-in on the standard. The irony is that Apple was active involved in USB-C’s development and even introduced it in the MacBook before any other manufacturer offered it on any product.
Although Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector offered a lot of benefits over other standards, when it was launched, those days are behind us. USB-C has a reversible port, capable of high capacity power delivery and faster transfer speeds.
Most Apple customers would welcome such a move. Although Apple thinks that this move by the EU would ‘stifle innovation’, it will make iPhone and iPad customers extremely happy. A single charger would be enough to charge everything from a MacBook to an iPhone and iPad.
If the law requires the common charger to be the same for the non-device end of the cable, Apple might just provide Lightning to USB-C cables and compatible chargers, rather than switch iPhones to a USB-C port, if it wants to continue with whatever reasoning it has to not switch to a universal standard.