Apple may have to conform when it comes to its chargers

Lightning charger
Apple's Lightning charger is superior to microUSB in many ways

Apple is the type of company that loves to do things a little differently, but soon that could become illegal in Europe where phone chargers are concerned.

A committee within the European Union Parliament voted unanimously this week to create a law that requires all phone makers to use the same type of charger. Tablet chargers could be affected, as well.

The internal market and consumer protection committee said the law will cut down on waste from unused chargers, but given Apple is one of the last phone makers not using microUSB, it's clear who would be most affected.

The proposal still needs to pass the European Council and be approved by Parliament before the law can be created, so it will still be some time before anything changes (if it ever does).

Lightning round

Apple introduced its much-hyped Lightning connector with the iPhone 5 in 2012, and it's become the standard for Apple devices since then.

The Lightning connector replaced the 30-pin plug that was in use on Apple products for nine years.

The Lightning connector is easy to use because it can be plugged in no matter which side is facing up. It also has a smaller footprint, and it charges devices and transfers data more quickly than the old connector.

But it made loads of old iPhone and iPod accessories incompatible with newer Apple devices, irritating plenty of Apple users.

A switch to the standard of microUSB would likely anger Apple fans further, especially since microUSB, while nearly universal at this point, is inferior to Lightning in most ways.

Apple has solved this problem in the past with adapters, but if the law goes into effect it could be forced to rethink its strategy.


Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.