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Europe votes in favour of common mobile phone charger law

European Parliament ministers have voted unanimously to implement a common standard for mobile phone chargers across the European Union [EU] that will affect Apple more than any other company.

The European Parliament internal market and consumer protection committee voted on a resolution that makes it a law that every mobile phone manufacturer conforms to one charging method, and one of the main reasons it’s being proposed is to decrease e-waste.

“We urge member states and manufacturers to introduce a universal charger, to put an end to cable chaos for mobile phones and tablet computers," said Barbara Weiler, rapporteur of the committee.

The European Commission chose microUSB cable chargers as the continent’s standard back in 2010 and most companies making phones for the European market already conform to this standard.

One of the only companies that don’t already use microUSB cables as a charging standard is Apple. Its devices use either the 30-pin or Lightning connector and the company has worked around European standards in the past by producing an adapter that supports microUSB.

The legislation still has to go to the Council where it will then be put forward to the Parliament before it then has to gain the required number of votes to be passed and written into law.

Apple only launched its new Lightning adaptor this time last year when the iPhone 5 was unveiled. The connector is designed to be smaller than the original 30-pin connector and means more can fit inside the device. It allows large amounts of data that are large in size to be transferred more quickly than with microUSB and it will be a while until Apple is forced to abandon its Lightning connector in the EU.

Image Credit: Flickr (Adafruit)