Maybe It's Time Apple Ditched Lightning for USB

Doris Richards
August 10, 2018

It was in 2009 that 14 smartphone manufacturers agreed and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which asked them to use a common mobile charging port for all their models. The EU clearly directed companies to coordinate and come up with a universal type of charger; micro-USB was the mutually decided type then.

Unless the EC forces Apple to dump its Lightning adaptor, it's unlikely to do so itself, given the amount of cash it makes from users having to cough up for its proprietary accessories, on top of the licensing fees it makes from third-party firms using its connector. If the decision will be taken, manufacturers like Apple, who use a proprietary connector (the Lightning), will have to adopt the standard imposed, whatever that might be, or face large nonconformity fines or even bans.

The EU's competition chief Margrethe Vestager said on August 1st in the EU Congress that the European Commission "will shortly launch and impact assessment study [on the mobile charger situation] to evaluate costs and benefits of different other options", as reported by Reuters.

This might lead to action from the EU.


The inquiry would raise many eyebrows as the European Union is not supposed to intervene in such matters.

An EU commission official told in a statement that the commission is disappointed on how the companies reacted to this regulation but it is still clearly unknown if any company will be investigated. There are of course already rumours that Apple is planning to switch completely to USB-C, and this pressure may be just what the company needs to finally flip the switch, although likely much too late for the next generation of iPhone.

Amidst all this, we must not forget that Apple was the first company to bring reversible chargers and helped us get rid of the right side up issue.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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