Make iPhone and Android use same charger: Maltese MEP secures vote

Apple may be forced by EU to replace iPhone charger with Android equivalent - ‘one-size-fits-all’ chargers would make customers’ lives easier and help the environment

The European Parliament has voted in favour of a resolution to develop a single mobile charger across the European Union.

The resolution, which was led by MEP Alex Agius Saliba, was adopted with 582 votes in favour 40 against and 37 abstentions, calling on the European Commission to take urgent measures and adopt a single charger across Europe. 

“We need to seize this opportunity that would make the lives of many European citizens much easier and will have a positive impact on the environment,” Agius Saliba said. 

Agius Saliba said that the time had come to deliver one European Universal Charger for mobile phones. “The European Parliament has done its utmost to make sure that after 10 years of promises the European Commission finally delivers one single charger for mobile phones and other small and medium electronic devices in Europe.”

For the resolution to become a law, the European Commission would have to draft a law and vote on it in July. But the idea of adopting a charging cable standard has overwhelming support in Europe, as evidenced by the 582-40 vote. With some exceptions, chargers use either USB-C, micro-USB, or Apple’s Lightning Cable. The vast majority of the industry uses micro-USB and is slowly adopting USB-C.

The legislation would mostly affect Apple’s proprietary Lightning Cable.

Agius Saliba said that the transition to a common charger was left for more than a decade to the goodwill of the industry. “Needless to say, we will not accept this any longer. The market needs regulation to benefit consumers and avoid unnecessary e-waste. We believe that this proposal will make it easier to re-use old electronics, save money, and reduce unnecessary costs to the consumer and to the environment.”

Data estimates, around 50 million metric tons of e-waste is generated globally per year, with an average of more than 6 kg per person. The total e-waste generation in Europe in 2016 was 12.3 million metric tons, corresponding to 16.6 kg on average per inhabitant.

“The European Commission must now use all its legislative power to push the industry to develop a common charger for electronic devices, in particular for mobile phones!”

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