European lawmakers have agreed on a draft regulation that could see Apple forced to equip its iDevices with a “common standard battery charger,” rather than its unique Lightning connector, according to a recent report.
The news comes from TUAW, which explains that while the draft regulation may not come into effect until 2017, the implications surrounding the move are nevertheless serious for Apple. “The draft legislation could be voted on as soon as March 2014, at which time it will need to be turned into national laws by each EU state,” the publication explains, adding that manufacturers will “have another year after state adoption to comply, which means that 2017 is about the earliest that Apple might have to change the Lightning connector.”
However, it could be that the Cupertino, Calif. company is able to ensure cross-compatibility with a proposed new USB connector (the “Type C USB connector”), TUAW adds:
A new USB connector, under design by one of the original USB architects, Ajay Bhatt, is being considered for adoption and would provide a reversible plug similar to the Lightning connector. This new standard will be called the Type C USB connector, and it might be well worth Apple’s investment in time and money to influence the design to be compatible with Lightning.
Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time European lawmakers have forced Apple to alter its practice. In particular, its one-year limited warranty was previously seen to violate European law, resulting in Apple offering customers two-years of consumer electronics protection in select European territories.
It’ll be interesting to see how this one pans out. By 2017, Europeans should also be able to travel between member states of the European Union without incurring roaming charges, if the European Commission is to have its way. Could it be that European iPhone owners will be free of both roaming charges and Lightning connectors, however?
We’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.
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