Apple users had to deal with a big change when the company shifted charging cables from the old 30-pin connector to the newer Lightning port that debuted in 2012.
But now the tech giant may be forced to swap the charging cable on the iPhone yet again.
Lawmakers in the EU are considering whether or not to force tech companies to adopt a ‘common charger’ for all mobile phones. The matter is set to be voted on ‘at a future session’ and, if passed, could compel Apple to switch to a USB-C port.
The USB-C standard is used by most other phone companies and while Apple would only need to comply with the law in the European Union , the cost of implementation would likely mean the change to the iPhone would be a global one.
‘To reduce electronic waste and make consumers’ life easier, MEPs want binding measures for chargers to fit all mobile phones and other portable devices,’ the EU explained.
‘A common charger should fit all mobile phones, tablets, e-book readers and other portable devices, MEPs will insist.
‘According to estimates, old chargers generate more than 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste per year.’
The @EU_Commission strongly supports harmonisation of chargers for mobiles. In 2009, we had >30 charging solutions. Now 3 main solutions. In the discussion w #industry we insist on the following objectives ✔️consumer convenience ✔️safety & interoperability ✔️reduction of e-waste. pic.twitter.com/jdcJ8pIk7s
— Maroš Šefčovič🇪🇺 (@MarosSefcovic) January 13, 2020
Apple has already switched some of its models to USB-C, notably the MacBook Pro and the iPad Pro.
The company is also rumoured to be looking into the possibility of a completely port-free iPhone that charges wirelessly .
However, it has argued against the EU’s proposal to force tech companies to make one standard charger for their devices.
‘More than one 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,’ Apple said last year .
‘We want to ensure that any new legislation will not result in the shipment of any unnecessary cables or external adapters 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.’