The EU has voted overwhelmingly in favor of standardized charging

Apple power cables
Apple power cables (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • The European Parliament voted to force phone manufacturers to use a common charging standard.
  • Apple is the lone manufacturer not using USB-C for phone charging.
  • The European Commission must now write the laws that would be enforcable in the EU.

The European Union has officially encouraged phone manufacturers to use a common standard for ports and charging cords, but one major manufacturer never seemed to get the message. Now Reuters reports that the European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly, 582-40, to encourage the European Commission, the law-making body for the EU, to adopt new regulations to force the issue. European lawmakers say that the Commission should adopt the new regulations by the summer.

Of course, this leaves much undetermined, and that singular manufacturer is sure to raise a legal stink. Android manufactuers have almost entirely adopted the USB-C port standard on flagship devices and most other smarphones. Even before USB-C, all of the Android manufacturers had settled on microUSB, so the lone holdout to voluntarily following the European Union preference has long been Apple. This is especially ironic as Apple has seen fit to include USB-C on its high-end Macbook Pro laptops, as well as on its newest iPad Pro tablets. Only the iPhone and some related accessories still rely on the lighting connector.

The European Parliamenrt also encourages manufacturers to move to a common standard for wireless charging, which is a much more realistic goal as most manufacturers use some technology that is compatible with the Qi standard from the Wireless Power Consortium. Even Apple uses wireless charging that is Qi compatible, though like some other manufacturers it also has a proprietary faster wireless charging feature available.

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

Philip Berne
  • It's not really surprising, the EU has always been about standards. This is a great thing to see, as long as when the next version of USB comes out it's easy to update the standard
  • I am glad to see this. I am planning on switching to Android at the end of this year when I am due a new phone. I am done with Lightning, it is a terrible connector. It’s a shame Apple forces customers to overpay for proprietary accessories. Also the fact that the connector is so fragile having the contacts on the outside of the plug. I burn through cables so fast because of this poor design choice. Compare to USB-C where I have never had a cable fail. I’m glad the EU has the courage to stand up to Apple and force them to be more consumer friendly.
  • Are you switching to Android solely due to the connector or something else? The next iPhone is likely to have USB-C. Also I'd recommend buying MFi Lightning cables like ones from Anker, these are far superior in quality compared to Apple's