Saturday, February 1, 2020

Stifling regulations crippling innovation

MEPs vote for universal phone connection and an end to Apple Lightning

MEPs vote for universal phone port and ban on Apple Lightning connection
(Image credit: Apple)
Members of the European Parliament have voted in favour of introducing a single charging connection for mobile phones, going against Apple's wishes to keep using its own Lightning port.
The resolution passed with 582 votes in favour to 40 against, reports the BBC. MEPs will now urge the European Commission (EC) to adopt the new rules.
Last week, the EU called for Apple to abandon its Lightning connection and adopt a common charger, and now a vote has reinforced that belief.
Apple responded to the vote with a statement: "Regulations that would drive conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones freeze innovation rather than encourage it. Such proposals are bad for the environment and unnecessarily disruptive for customers.
"More than one billion Apple devices have shipped using a Lightning connector in addition to an entire ecosystem of accessory and device manufacturers who use Lightning to serve our collective customers.
"We want to ensure that any new legislation will not result in the shipment of any unnecessary cables or external adaptors with every device, or render obsolete the devices and accessories used by many millions of Europeans and hundreds of millions of Apple customers worldwide."
Members of EU Parliament have been campaigning for a common charger for over a decade, with mixed success. Now, the European Commission is being encouraged to force electronics companies to adopt a universal charging type, with the USB-C port used by Android phones the most likely choice. 
Apple, meanwhile, insists that regulation isn't necessary as the industry is already moving to USB-C through a connector or cable assembly. Indeed, the firm's iPad Pro already boasts a USB-C charging port.
Apple has even commissioned a study that claims that consumer harm from a regulatory-mandated move to a common charger would cost at least 1.5 billion euros, outweighing the 13 million euros in associated environmental benefits.
An ultimate solution could, in fact, come from Cupertino. Apple is said to be developing an iPhone for 2020 that will use only wireless charging. Problem solved.

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