Friday 17 January 2020 2:33 pm

EU could force Apple to ditch iPhone charger

Apple could be forced to abandon the Lightning connector, as the European Parliament mulls the introduction of a common charger to fit all devices 

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will debate the issue on Monday, calling for a charger that will “fit all mobile phones, tablets, e-book readers and other portable devices”.

According to EU estimates, the replacement of old chargers generates more than 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste each year. 

The move to bring in binding measures for common chargers could put particular pressure on Apple, which uses a Lightning connector for more than a billion iPhone and iPads. The tech giant has already stopped using that style of connector on its 2019 iPad. 

Android devices currently use USB-C and micro USB connectors, and Apple used the USB-C on last year’s iPad model. 

Wireless charging could also solve the problem. 

However, Apple has argued that the regulation would halt innovation and cause disruption for customers. 

The European Commision has previously “encouraged” tech giants to develop chargers that can be used between different brands and products. 

However, the European Parliament said that approach “fell short of the co-legislators’ objectives”.

“The voluntary agreements between different industry players have not yielded the desired results,” it said.