A powerful image, but one that does not represent today’s phone world


Back in the day, pretty much every OEM that made mobile phones created proprietary chargers. This meant that if you owned a Nokia handset, you could only use a Nokia charger, and so on. This was a hassle, and more importantly it created a lot of waste because a Nokia user moving to a Samsung phone would have no need for their old charger, thus creating electronic waste.

Today the situation is much better, although Apple is pretty much the only one holding out as they are still insisting on using its proprietary Lightning charger. However the EU is exploring the idea of standardizing mobile chargers, which if successful could see Apple forced to use something more commonly-used, such as USB-C.

So far companies have voluntarily signed a memorandum of understanding, but it seems that is not good enough. According to EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager, “Given the unsatisfactory progress with this voluntary approach, the Commission will shortly launch an impact assessment study to evaluate costs and benefits of different other options.”

This is actually not the first time the EU has explored the idea of a universal standard. The commission has been pushing for such standards for close to a decade, although like we said the landscape has improved greatly. That being said, there have been rumors suggesting that Apple could eventually ditch Lightning for USB-C come 2019, but whether or not that will happen remains to be seen.

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