While many manufacturers have adopted the micro-USB charging standard, one holdout is the typically independent we’ll-just-do-our-own-thing Apple.
The Californians recently made the switch to the Lightning connector, but the European Union would very much like if they’d just bloody well use micro-USB like everyone else.
Apple isn’t specifically named in the move to push through a law making micro-USB the legal standard for phones – and potentially tablets – in Europe, but there’s no question who would be affected most should it come to pass.
The Lightning connector debuted on the iPhone 5 last year, and now makes an appearance on all current iDevices. It offers quick charging, the ability to control accessories, and can be easily inserted; there’s no right way up.
The move to Lightning from the old 30-pin connector was controversial enough, since adapters were required to make the new iDevices compatible with older accessories including docking stations.
That particular headache might return if Apple is forced to adopt micro-USB, though – realistically – it could be years before it comes into play.
The European Union side of the argument is that blanket adoption of micro-USB would cut down on waste from chargers, which contain all sorts of planet-destroying chemicals.
O2 recently piloted a scheme in which it sold the HTC One X+ sans charger, with the price – in theory – coming down accordingly. The network says only 18% of customers needed – or requested – a charger, and that there are an estimated 100 million unused chargers in the UK alone.