Apple hits back at EU charger proposals, says it would create "unprecedented volume" of waste

Chargers (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has hit back at EU proposals to create a single charging port standard in tech.
  • Lawmakers have proposed mandating USB-C ports on smartphones to reduce waste.
  • Apple now says this will have the opposite effect, creating unprecedented amounts of electronic waste.

Apple has hit back at EU proposals to create a single charging port standard in tech to reduce waste.

Last week it emerged that the EU was moving towards mandating that all mobile phones, tablets, e-book readers and other portable devices feature a common charging standard. The move is reported to be in response to poor uptake on a 2014 suggestion, stating:

"The Commission's 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,"

Now, Apple has hit back at the proposals, saying it would create unprecedented waste. According to The Sun:

Legislation would have a direct negative impact by disrupting the hundreds of millions of active devices and accessories used by our European customers and even more Apple customers worldwide, creating an unprecedented volume of electronic waste and greatly inconveniencing users," the firm said in a statement seen by The Sun."Prior to 2009, the Commission considered mandating that all smartphones use only USB Micro-B connectors which would have restricted the advancement to Lightning and USB Type-C," said Apple."Instead, the Commission established a voluntary, industry standards-based approach that saw the market shift from 30 chargers down to 3, soon to be two — Lightning and USB-C, showing this approach does work.Apple added that the industry is "already moving" to USB-C anyway – so setting a precedent of regulation isn't necessary.

Apple is indeed correct in that forcing a drastic, legislated switch to USB-C would render all of its Lightning-based hardware somewhat useless. It also seems to believe that as everyone is headed in the direction of USB-C, this kind of mandate isn't necessary.

Whilst no one can argue with efforts to reduce waste and make charging more convenient for everyone, we're not sure that this is the best way to do it.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9