While Apple Opposed the EU's Desire for a Common Charging System in 2019, the EU is likely to force Lightning out of Europe
On Monday Patently Apple posted a report titled "With Apple never Complying with the EU's request to use a common Charger standard, the EU is now Preparing to Force Compliance." The report noted that "In a new briefing, the EU Commission acknowledged that the 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."
A new report posted today states that EU "Lawmakers want one single charger that fits phones, tables, e-books and any other portable device. Apple’s Lightning connector cable, which is used to charge and sync different devices, would therefore be at risk.
Apple responded to the EU Commission on January 31, 2019 and below is their full response on record:
"Apple stands for innovation. Regulations that would drive conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones freeze innovation rather than encourage it. Such proposals are bad for the environment and unnecessarily disruptive for customers.
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. 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.
Beginning in 2009, Apple led industry efforts to work together to promote a common charging solution. And with the emergence of USB Type-C, we have committed alongside six other companies that all new smartphone models will leverage this standard through a connector or a cable assembly. We believe this collective effort by many of the industry’s leading companies is better for innovation, better for consumers and better for the environment."
Apple, of its own choice, has already stopped using Lightning on the 2019 version of the iPad, moving to the USB-C port used on MacBooks. USB-C and micro-USB are also used on Android devices.
Dexter Thillien, a senior industry analyst at Fitch Solutions, told CNBC Friday that Apple is already using USB for some iPads, "so it wouldn’t be completely new for them, and would only apply to future models."
Thillen added that "Most Android devices already use the same charging system (USB-C and micro-USB), so it would impact Apple more than anybody else."