European Union wants Apple's Lightning port gone

European Union wants Apple's Lightning port gone
EU lawmakers might be in favor of diversity, but not when it comes to smartphone chargers. Today, these lawmakers called for the creation of one standard charger for all mobile devices. Reuters reports that by an overwhelming vote of 582-40, members of the European Parliament passed a resolution that asks the European Commission (the body that drafts laws for the EU) to make sure that buyers of mobile devices no longer are under the obligation to purchase a new charger every time they buy a new device. The resolution calls for the EC to adopt new rules by this coming July.

The idea is to reduce the amount of electronic waste that the EU is dealing with. During 2016, the last year that data was made available, such waste generated in the EU added up to 12.3 million tonnes or 36.6 pounds for each person living in the EU. The resolution noted that requiring a standard charger for mobile devices could reduce the amount of electronic waste and it also asked the Commission to pass a rule making sure that wireless chargers could be used to power up different mobile devices.

Analyst says Apple is considering a port-less iPhone as soon as 2021


The EC has actually been fighting for a standard mobile charger for over 10 years. in 2009, Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Nokia signed a "voluntary memorandum of understanding" calling for these phone manufacturers to use standard chargers for phones that were coming to the marketplace in 2011. But it is obvious to the EC after nearly 10 years that the voluntary approach has not worked and that legislation is going to be needed in order to force the phone manufacturers to take action.


The company that is on the line with this proposal is Apple. That is because most Android phones have a USB-C port which is the closest thing to a common charging platform that the mobile industry has today. However, Apple has its proprietary Lightning port which has been in use since 2012 when it replaced the 30-pin dock connector. Apple did switch to USB Type-C for the 2018 iPad Pro models and for the last couple of years there have been rumors about the same thing happening to the iPhone. Many iPhone users have been hoping that Apple switches to Type-C; that could make it easier for them to find accessories for their iPhones and at a lower price, too.

While Apple might end up not having a choice in Europe, it is hard to see the company voluntarily switching to a standard system because of the profits involved. Having a proprietary charging system means that people will have to come to Apple for an original replacement. The company already took a little hit when it introduced the 2019 iPhones by including an 18W fast charger in the box with the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. While the iPhone 8 iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR all support fast charging, owners of those models have to shell out $29 for an 18W charger.

Last month, reliable TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo looked deeply into his crystal ball and said that the highest-end 2021 iPhone might not have a Lightning port or a USB-C port. Kuo is talking about the iPhone 13 Pro Max featuring a "completely wireless experience." If indeed Apple is looking at offering a port-free phone, it could decide that it isn't worth it to make a switch away from the Lightning port for a short period of time.

However, there is still the EU to consider. Apple said last week that the mobile industry is already moving toward the use of Type-C as a standard, but also said that forcing a standard on the industry would hurt consumers in Europe. And Apple also points out that making a quick move to a standard charging platform would create plenty of electrical waste, exactly what the EU is trying to avoid in the first place.

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24 Comments

25. TS020

Posts: 76; Member since: Feb 16, 2019

I own one of those triple cables (C/Micro/Lightning to Type-A), but it's definitely NOT for fast charging. If Apple go full wireless then you'll need to carry a charging pad AND cable with you. That'd be great fun on a plane, having to balance your phone just so instead of just plugging the cable in and leaving it wherever.

22. talon95

Posts: 1012; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

About time!

21. Metropolis75

Posts: 200; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

I'm an Android user, but I don't think any governing body should have a say in this. If the consumer forces Apple to move to usb-c then so be it.

20. cozze02

Posts: 135; Member since: Nov 25, 2012

They get rid of the lightning port and there goes alot of money for licensing accessories. Obviously Apple doesn't want that to happen, USB type c is far superior and very easy to get ahold of, greedy Apple.

18. Charlie2k

Posts: 178; Member since: Jan 11, 2016

Apple users looove adapters, so just provide a Lightning - USB C adapter with each new phone and then Apple-loverd can continue using their 5W chargers

17. mariosraptor

Posts: 195; Member since: Mar 15, 2012

No charging port, no self repairing of software issues.

16. Takeharu

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Yes Apple because if you go portless you don't generate tons of waste? At least with USB-C you could provide a dongle to lightning!

11. Fellwalker

Posts: 549; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

The EU insisted on micro USB some years back. He is then we needed new chargers because fast charging became a thing. 550mW charger anyone? Manufacturers always look for the next differential to get us to buy theirs not some one else's.

10. yalokiy

Posts: 1155; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

Not only EU, I want it to be replaced with type-c too. Just imagine if every car had to be fueled at gas station of the same brand. Or how it was in pre type-c/microusb times, every phone brand used its own charging port.

9. Vokilam

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Switched back and forth between Samsung and Apple: I went from mini-USB, to Micro-USB, to lightning, to USB-C, to lightning again. Honestly, seems like everyone is changing ports all the time, and honestly - never bothered me at all - they’re improving overtime. Micro USB was an an OK upgrade from mini-USB, but then I got a device with lightning and it was the best for a long time - I started hating micro-USB compared to lightning. Then we got USB-C and I finally saw android catch up to lightning and that’s a good thing. Did you guys know that Apple has updated internals of the lightning port at some point? It looks the same - but tech is different. Would I care if Apple went to USB-C - sure it may make some accessories usable when switching platforms in future - but today everything I own that I use with my phones is WIRELESS!!! So, I couldn’t care either way. I have NOT connected my devices to my PC even once in 5 years! Not Once!!! Why is this such a big deal to everyone?

13. Secure

Posts: 13; Member since: Mar 18, 2019

I have a 32" monitor equipped with USB Type C at home and in the office so I can see a content of my phone and charging at the same time, and their is no need to take charger every day, also one can use friend's or colleague's charger, you can ask only once at the airport or the rail station. It's a good thing for customers, bad for Apple, if you work for Apple, it's a bad thing, no doubt.

19. Vokilam

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

I have never seen any place that doesnt have a lightning charger. Everyone here has an Apple device even if there are android devices in the house.

23. sgodsell

Posts: 7677; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Come on Vokilam, Apple's proprietary lightning is crap. Plain and simple, it's slow to transfer data, it doesn't support as much current as USB-C, it's missing the level of multiple device support through one cable, and lightning doesn't even have 1/10th the amount of devices that that support it. Lightning isn't on any TVs, monitors, game consoles, game controllers, TV boxes, cable boxes, sound systems, and the list goes on and on. Only a blind, ignorant person would try to make it seem like lightning is every, but that would be a complete lie.

8. Pureviewuser1

Posts: 170; Member since: Mar 28, 2016

Why so much hate to apple I prefer other makes i don't like their products but I don't hate apple get over it guys.

7. frankg

Posts: 174; Member since: May 14, 2014

Apple thinking of other technologies for which you have to buy their overpriced stuff...

4. senjido

Posts: 17; Member since: Sep 25, 2019

I hate Apple since years

5. mrochester

Posts: 1048; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Why would anyone hate Apple? Best consumer electronics company on the planet.

6. Shubham412302

Posts: 595; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

Best anti-consumer electronics company on the planet.

3. drunkenjay

Posts: 1705; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

apple "but the customers love the lightning port."

26. tuminatr

Posts: 1193; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

It's interesting that they replaced the lightning with USB-c on the iPad but not the iPhone yet.

2. androiduser

Posts: 575; Member since: Jun 18, 2014

Take that apple, get rekt.

24. sgodsell

Posts: 7677; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Good riddance to crappy lightning ports and cables. It's a long time coming. Not to mention lightning is on iPhones and a few iPads.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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