KEY POINTS

  • The European Parliament has called for the adoption of a single charging standard, USB-C
  • The EU's mandate is seen to affect Apple more than any other company
  • Apple responded in the negative, saying the switch will cause more problems like e-waste

In an unsurprising turn of events, Cupertino tech giant Apple has responded negatively to the European Parliament's mandate for all tech giants to adopt USB-C as a charging standard for their devices.

The EU has called for the adoption of a single charging standard for all mobile phones – that standard being USB-C. This legislation is primarily aimed at reducing the waste that is generated in the creation and eventual disposal of a variety of chargers and cables that make use of different ports.

The mandate, if enforced, will effectively push tech giants to forego charging standards such as microUSB and Lightning, and embrace USB-C as the official charging port for use in mobile devices such as smartphones. Many smartphone makers have already made the jump to USB-C. Apple, however, continues to use its proprietary Lightning for its devices.

Not surprisingly, Apple said it won't give in to the EU's mandate, Reuters reported. Responding negatively to the European Commission's push for USB-C, the iPhone maker said the move to the rising standard will create an “unprecedented volume of electronic waste” and “stifle innovation,” among others.

Reuters pointed out that the EU's mandate “would affect Apple more than other companies” since most of its devices, such as the iPhone in particular, use Lightning. Android devices made by Cupertino's rivals such as Samsung, on the other hand, use USB-C as standard for its devices.

In a statement (via Engadget), Apple emphasized that since there are more than 1 billion Lightning-powered Apple devices and accessories that have been shipped to its customers, a move to switch from Lightning to USB-C will in effect create more problems than it solves.

“Legislation would have a direct negative impact by disrupting the hundreds of millions of active devices and accessories used by our European customers and even more Apple customers worldwide, creating an unprecedented volume of electronic waste and greatly inconveniencing users,” Apple said.

Furthermore, the Lightning port maker claims that such a mandate will discourage “innovation” and harm consumers as well.

“We believe regulation that forces conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, and would harm consumers in Europe and the economy as a whole,” Apple said.

Engadget emphasized that Apple's response to the EU simply reveals that it will only change connectors when it wants to. Cupertino has already adopted USB-C on some of its devices. It remains to be seen if it ultimately ditches Lightning for its future devices.

iphone charging This is a representational image of a charging phone. Photo: AFP/Getty Images/Brendan Smialowski