Universal Mobile Charger To Hit EU By 2017

March 18, 2014 10:00 AM

Members of the European Parliament have voted that a universal mobile charger is needed to reduce waste, cost and hassle. 

The European Commission will decide which charger is chosen, and the decision will apply to all mobile phones. National Governments will have two years to put that into law and manufactures likes Apple, Nokia and Samsung will have a further year to comply.

universal mobile phone charger

It looks most likely that the micro USB will be chosen after the 2009 decision which decided that companies should voluntarily choose to use it as the staple charger. Apple of course did not comply with this and used the Lightning cable for the iPhone 5, 5C and 5S.

The benefits of the micro USB is that there is no proprietary licence on it, if the Lightning cable was chosen instead producers would have to pay Apple to use their cable and that seems unlikely. If Apple were to drop their proprietary claim to the lightning cable it does offer some benefits over micro USBs; its power delivery is 12 watts against the micro USB’s 9 watts and is symmetrical. Anyone who has struggled to plug in a micro USB while intoxicated would certainty appreciate a symmetrical charger.  It isn’t unheard of that a manufacturer would use a proprietary format, for example Microsoft pays $9 on every Xbox One to use a Blu-ray Player.

What seems most likely is Apple will keep its proprietary claim to Lightning cables but all iProducts sold in the EU will come bundled with an adapter free of charge.