It was just yesterday that we posted a report titled "Apple Invents new Dock with a Flexible Lightning Connector" wherein we concluded our summary by stating: "Here's to hoping that Apple will be able to not only design this new dock but also get it out to market soon. Then again, perhaps Apple is still waiting to see how the European consumer protection committee will rule before committing to this product." Well talk of the Devil. The European Parliament just handed down their ruling on this issue and they say that manufacturers including Apple will have to use a standard charger by 2017.
A European report today states that Barbara Weiler, a German socialist MEP and rapporteur on the dossier, said in a statement: "I am especially pleased that we agreed on the introduction of a common charger. It will put an end to charger clutter and 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste annually."
Many of the mobile phones on the market already follow the standard micro-USB format, but smartphone giants Apple and Nokia will now have to adapt their models to this standard too. Parliament clarified in a press release that the European Commission would determine which specific devices were to fall under the new rules.
The MEPs decided on new rules at their plenary session in Strasbourg, on Thursday. The directive passed with 550 votes in favour, with 12 against and 8 abstentions.
The current incompatibility of chargers for mobile phones, smart phones, tablets, digital cameras, music players is a nightmare and a real inconvenience for consumers. This new directive ends this nightmare and is also good news for the environment.
European consumers have become familiar for years now with the ever-changing formats for chargers, which often differ between brands but also between models of mobile phones, tablets and other devices."
The introduction of Apple's lightning connector/port wasn't applauded by everyone when they rolled it out in 2012.
Whether Apple will simply update their chargers and include a lightning-to-micro-USB connector with future iPhones with lightning sold in Europe is unknown at this time.