European regulatory authority is mulling legislation to force all smartphone manufacturers to use a standard charging port. If passed, the law will make it mandatory for all smartphone manufacturers to offer the same type of port. The move has upset Apple since the company offers a lightning connector on its devices.
In its defense, Apple says that forcing all smartphone manufacturers to offer the same charging port will simply “freeze innovation.” Interestingly the company also believes that it will be “bad for the environment” and is “unnecessarily disruptive for customers.” Apple’s feedback on parliamentary briefing reads as follows,
More than 1 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. We want to ensure that any new legislation will not result in the shipment of any unnecessary cables or external adaptors 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.
Apple claims to have worked towards standardizing charging solutions with six other companies. In 2009 they have agreed on using Type-C USB standard via a connector or a cable assembly. According to estimates, the old chargers are responsible for more than 51,000 tonnes of electric waste every year.
We believe that the companies should introduce and promote an exclusive recycling program for chargers and other accessories. Do you feel introducing common chargers for all smartphones will help reduce e-waste? Let us know in the comments below.