Apple thinks EU regulation for common phone charger could do more harm than good

Lightning cable connected to an iPhone 7

Last week, news broke about the European Union’s push for a universally common charger for all smartphones. The EU is said to be considering a legislation which could force tech companies like Apple to adopt a single charging standard.

Pushing back against the move, Apple has reportedly said that adopting a common charger would stifle innovation in the industry. It also believes that if this were to become mandatory, it would create a heap of e-waste and harm consumers.

Apple, which provides Lightning chargers with all its iPhones, stands to lose the most if the EU makes universal chargers compulsory. Most Android phones already support USB-C charging and it shouldn’t be hard for Apple to get on board.

However, in a statement to Reuters, Apple said, “We believe regulation that forces conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones stifles innovation.”

The Cupertino-based tech company also claims that the move could harm the European economy.

To prove its point, Apple commissioned a study by Copenhagen Economics outlining the potential consumer harm from a mandatory move towards a common charger.

The study apparently found that it would cost consumer €1.5 billion if the regulation comes in effect, outweighing the €13 million associated with environmental benefits.

The study also claims that 49% of EU households rely on different types of chargers, of which only 0.4% experience any significant issues.

Apple feels that the mandate is unnecessary as the industry is already moving to USB-C via a connector or cable assembly. The iPhone 11 Pro does have a USB-C charger, however users still need a USB-C to Lightning cable.

The tech giant hopes that the European Commission would “continue to seek a solution that does not restrict the industry’s ability to innovate.”


What are your thoughts on a universal charger for all smartphones? Do you think it is a good idea? Let us know in the comments section below.

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