Several years ago, the European Union announced that it wanted to unify mobile chargers across all manufacturers. The goal was to eliminate electronic waste because previously switching phones often means getting a new and completely different charger. But, by the time the EU got involved, almost all major manufacturers were already using micro-USB. Now, the EU is looking to update the requirement, modernizing for USB-C and removing the remaining loophole.

What is the current situation?

Currently, EU regulations require that all phones be able to charge via a universal charger (originally micro-USB, but USB-C also qualifies). At the time of the original regulations, the only major manufacturer not using the micro-USB charging port was Apple, which famously uses its proprietary Lightning connector. The universality of the micro-USB connector is attractive for swapping between phones, but Apple argued that its Lightning connector gave it capabilities not afforded by micro-USB.

This argument allowed Apple to find a middle ground with the EU regulators – making a micro-USB to Lightning adapter available to all iPhone and iPad owners. This would allow them to use the chargers they already own with their new phones, which is exactly what the EU was trying to accomplish. But, in the past few years, things have changed in the industry, leading to some changes in the regulations.

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