European Union isn’t too thrilled with the iPhone’s proprietary Lightning connector

EU might force Apple to ditch Lightning connector in favour of USB

Specifically, the European Union is hoping that this new "impact assessment study" will coax smartphone makers to work together and agree upon a common mobile phone charger, regardless of the device.

For almost a decade the European Commission has lobbied for a common mobile charging standard, asserting over 51,000 tons of electronic waste gathers yearly from old chargers.

The EU will reportedly commence a study to decide whether there's a need for new action, whilst analysing the effect of other options.

The EU began taking the voluntary approach to "harmonize" mobile phone charging technology with an agreement that smartphone vendors, including Apple, signed in 2009.

The move comes in a bid to put an end to both the "inconvenience to consumers" and charger clutter, with gadget users chucking away 51,000 tonnes of old chargers every year. The deadline passed, and while similar letters of intent emerged in 2013 and 2014, the frustration of iPhones and Android devices having different chargers continues to plague the digital society.

Following the expiration of the memorandum, the only type of phone charger on the market that isn't USB-C or micro-USB is Apple's Lightning connector, making Apple the obvious target of the dilemma.

While 13 of the signatories gave up their proprietary plugs and switched to USB, Apple, on the other hand, introduced adaptors that allowed micro-USB plugs to fit into its proprietary ports.

To complicate matters further, the introduction of smartphones with fast charging support has led to companies such as OnePlus, Samsung, Sony, and Huawei to come up with their own proprietary fast charging systems.

The commission will investigate how it can push the smartphone industry to adopt one universal battery charger, the EU's competition chief, Margrethe Vestager, said earlier this month.

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