Apple says EU universal charger laws would be harmful

Last week, the European parliament called for amendments to the law that would make common chargers an essential requirement in the EU. It says that this would make life easier for consumers and that it would cut electronic waste.

However, Apple has warned against the move, saying that it could interfere with innovation and create even more electronic waste.

Switching to a common charger would impact Apple a lot more than other electronics companies, as iPhones and other Apple products are powered by its Lightning cable. Android products, on the other hand, all use USB-C cables.

It also pointed out that the industry as a whole is already moving towards USB-C connectors and therefore changes in laws and regulations would be unnecessary.

The company said in a statement, “We believe regulation that forces conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, and would harm consumers in Europe and the economy as a whole.”

“We hope the (European) Commission will continue to seek a solution that does not restrict the industry’s ability to innovate”.

It also referred to a study by the Copenhagen Economics that said the costs to consumers of the change would be around 1.5 billion euros. Whereas, the environmental benefits would be to the value of around 13 million euros.

But, the European Commission, which has been campaigning for a universal charger for over ten years, continues to argue that the benefits outweigh the problems.

In addition, in 2009, it got four major electronics manufacturers – Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Nokia – to sign a voluntary agreement to try and make chargers for new models of smartphones more universal.

The Commission says this agreement isn’t working. “A delegated act based on the Radio Equipment Directive (RED) is one of the options to be considered since it empowers the Commission to take certain type of regulatory measures in this field,” an the official said.

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