EU Committee Votes to Make All Smartphone Vendors Utilize a Standard Charger

The EU has been known to make a lot of odd decisions when it comes to tech, such as forcing Microsoft's hand at including a "browser wheel" with its Windows OS, but this latest decision is one I think most people will agree with. One thing that's frustrating about different smartphones is the occasional requirement to use a different charger. More frustrating is actually losing one of these chargers, and being unable to charge your phone even though you might have 8 of another charger readily available.

While this decision would cut down on this happening, the focus is to cut down on waste. On Thursday, the EU's internal market and consumer protection committee voted on forcing smartphone vendors to adopt a standard charger, which common sense would imply means micro USB, given it's already featured on the majority of smartphones out there. The major exception is Apple, which deploys a Lightning connector with its latest iPhones.

Apple already offers Lightning to micro USB cables, but again, those are only useful if you happen to own one, making a sudden loss of a charger all-the-more frustrating. While Lightning might offer some slight benefits, Apple implementing a micro USB connector instead would make situations like those a lot easier to deal with (I am sure a lot of us have multiple micro USB cables lying around).

Even though this law was a success in the initial voting, the government group must still bring the proposal to the Council which will then lead to another vote being made in the Parliament. If it does end up passing, I have a gut feeling that Apple will modify only its European models to adhere to the law, while its worldwide models will remain with the Lightning connector. Or, Apple might be able to circumvent the law if it offers to include the micro USB cable in the box, essentially shipping the phone with that connector.