The EU may push iPhones to adopt the USB-C that Androids prefer

Apple power cables
Apple power cables (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • The European Parliament voted to force phone manufacturers to use a common charging standard.
  • Apple is the lone manufacturer not using USB-C for phone charging.
  • The European Commission must now write the laws that would be enforcable in the EU.

The European Union has officially encouraged phone manufacturers to use a common standard for ports and charging cords, but one major manufacturer never seemed to get the message. Now Reuters reports that the European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly, 582-40, to encourage the European Commission, the law-making body for the EU, to adopt new regulations to force the issue. European lawmakers say that the Commission should adopt the new regulations by the summer.

Of course, this leaves much undetermined, and that singular manufacturer is sure to raise a legal stink. Android manufactuers have almost entirely adopted the USB-C port standard on flagship devices and most other smarphones. Even before USB-C, all of the Android manufacturers had settled on microUSB, so the lone holdout to voluntarily following the European Union preference has long been Apple. This is especially ironic as Apple has seen fit to include USB-C on its high-end Macbook Pro laptops, as well as on its newest iPad Pro tablets. Only the iPhone and some related accessories still rely on the lighting connector.

The European Parliamenrt also encourages manufacturers to move to a common standard for wireless charging, which is a much more realistic goal as most manufacturers use some technology that is compatible with the Qi standard from the Wireless Power Consortium. Even Apple uses wireless charging that is Qi compatible, though like some other manufacturers it also has a proprietary faster wireless charging feature available.

Apple hits back at EU charger proposals, says it would create "unprecedented volume" of waste

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Philip Berne