Europe might force Apple to ditch Lightning Cable

A leaked email suggests the European Commission will revive efforts forcing manufacturers to standardize smartphone chargers, after previous commitments were simply disregarded.

Back in 2009, 14 smartphone manufacturers signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) committing themselves to switch to a common charging port for handsets released from 2011. The deadline passed, and while similar letters of intent emerged in 2013 and 2014, the frustration of iPhones and Android devices having different chargers continues to plague the digital society. According to Reuters, EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager is sick of the situation.

“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,” the leaked email states.

As the vast majority of devices now use micro USB-B or USB-C for some newer devices, the gripe does seem to be directed at Apple. It is hardly an unusual situation that the iLeader walks to the beat of its own drum, though now it does seem Europe has had enough. It will likely take years to rollout across devices, but the Commission might well force Apple’s hand.

Apple is a stubborn company, and while this posturing from the European Commission might be a worry, nothing is likely to change in the immediate future. An impact assessment will take months, and there is bound to be some resistance to the idea as Apple kicks up a fuss.

That said, iLifers will welcome the idea as the first world frustrations of having no battery is a daunting prospect.

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