The European Union is stirring towards a requirement for micro USB to be mandatory in all mobile devices going forward, thus clearly gunning for technology giant Apple. While nearly ever mobile company has adopted micro USB as the default charging option on devices, this was not done without some prior prompting. In 2009 the European Union reached a voluntary agreement with several manufacturers to move towards micro USB as the charger of choice to help consumers who were tired of proprietary cables coming with everything.
However, there has been one noticeable holdout in Apple which moved from its aging 30-pin connector last year to the new Lightning cable. Apple’s solution to this situation was to offer adapters throughout Europe that allowed you to use micro USB cables to charge your Apple devices, but you had to go out and purchase them at an extra cost to the consumer and they were never included with the company’s products.
It seems that may no longer be enough as the European Parliament’s internal market and consumer protection committee voted unanimously last week on a resolution of a law requiring that would require all companies to make only one type of charger. The belief is that this would cut down on the amount of waste generated by the electronics industry in the world’s landfills while also appeasing the consumer.
Depending on the wording of the law, should it ever come to pass, the easiest solution here would be for Apple to simply include the micro USB to Lightning adapters in all of its products distributed throughout the European markets. This would then keep Apple from having to redesign its products and it would also allow it to keep selling its own cables throughout the rest of the world without having to run two separate product lines. But unless the proposed law is careful with the wording, it’s highly doubtful that we will see a new generation of iPhones shipping with microUSB ports.
[Image via fasttech]