Mobile phone chargers are almost essential in the modern world. However, device compatibility is a problem that customers have to often deal with. The European Union, back in 2009 tried to solve this by urging companies to adopt micro USB as the standard for mobile chargers.
But since Apple decided to break away from the pact in 2012 by adopting the Lightning port on its entire device lineup, the model envisioned by the EU didn’t quite work. It is now being learned that the EU is looking to bring the issue back to the table again, and possibly even making the common charger proposal a law, thereby forcing companies to agree on a single-standard port.
“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 EU Competition Chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement last week.
The EU claims that about 51,000 tons of electronic waste are generated from mobile phone chargers every year, which is causing significant environmental damage. Keeping this in mind, it’s understandable as to why the EU wants to enforce a single-standard law.
While it makes sense to have all manufacturers under a single-standard agreement, it doesn’t sound feasible as an immediate solution. However, if the companies come to an agreement with the EU, there’s no reason why this can’t work.
The EU is known to be strict on tech companies, so there are going to be a few jitters spreading among mobile manufacturers. Back in 2016, the EU proposed a fine of $14.5 billion on Apple over allegations of receiving illegal state aid from Ireland. More recently, Google was fined $5 billion for violating EU’s antitrust laws with its illegal Android practices.[Via Reuters]