A "Lightning" cable
Photo: Matthias Kremp / DER SPIEGEL
Who doesn't have it: The one drawer in the house where old or unused chargers and cables gather dust?
According to the ideas of the EU Commission, this should soon be the end of it.
The internal market commissioner Thierry Breton wants to present the plans for a "uniform solution for charging devices of electronic devices" on Thursday.
The question of chargers has preoccupied EU institutions for more than a decade. In 2009, 14 cell phone manufacturers - including Apple - agreed in a voluntary commitment under pressure from the EU Commission: Of the several dozen types of sockets in smartphones and tablet computers, only three remained: the now obsolete micro-USB, the newer USB-C and the thinner "Lightning" connectors from Apple. Since then, however, consumers have been waiting in vain for a uniform socket.
At the beginning of 2020, the EU Parliament asked the EU Commission to develop regulations for uniform charging technology. Most recently, the pandemic pushed the topic off the agenda. In addition to smartphones, the chargers for other products are also to be standardized. The now expected legislative proposal is likely to be a nuisance, especially for the iPhone company Apple. Apple wants to keep its in-house Lightning connector, which is currently installed in all iPhones, but also in some tablet models such as the current iPad 9. Other iPad models already have a USB-C socket.
Apple argues that all power supplies are based on USB-C anyway - but only on the charger side.
With a compulsory abolition of the Lightning socket on the iPhone, a large amount of additional electronic waste will be created, the manufacturer justifies its stance.
The group no longer includes a power supply unit with its current smartphone models, because these are often already available in households.
In this respect, Apple could become a role model for other manufacturers.
tmk / dpa