European Union Puts Apple in the Spotlight With Common Charger Directive - Stockxpo - Grow more with Investors, Traders, Analyst and Research

European Union Puts Apple in the Spotlight With Common Charger Directive

The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, has proposed a new law that seeks to standardize charging ports across smartphone manufacturers and other electronics.

The proposed law aims to combat widespread electronics waste and improve overall consumer experience. Studies sponsored by the European Commission over the last several years have concluded the market has become increasingly fragmented across proprietary charging solutions, which in turn force consumers to purchase or maintain multiple charging solutions for their devices. This leads to a massive amount of waste from unused or mismatched cables when consumers upgrade devices.

Under the terms of the new legislation, manufacturers would be required to adhere to a USB-C standard across all of their devices. Alongside the charging port, the USB specifications for these ports would become standardized, which would make it so that these charging cables would be interoperable across devices. In theory, this would make it so that a person could use a single cable to charge all of their devices.

For most manufacturers, the USB-C cable is already standard issue. Companies like Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (

SSNGY, Financial) have been using it for the last several generations of their flagship devices. However, in the world of standardized charging, Apple Inc. (AAPL, Financial) stands out like a sore thumb.

Apple’s devices over the years have notoriously used their own proprietary ports, which require their own cables. The most current generation, the Lightning port, is used across the iPhone range and is still commonplace on many iPads. The iPhone 13, which is set to hit stores on Sept. 24, maintains the Lightning port despite the company’s widely advertised MagSafe wireless charging and accessory system.

At the same time, Apple has recently transitioned several of its iPad models and MacBooks over to the USB-C. This allows for users to charge multiple devices on the same cable while maintaining Apple’s device ecosystem. The end of the Lightning port has been rumored over the last several generations of iPhones that Apple has released and the European Commission’s new legislation could spell its final act.

While Apple may be forced to update its iPhones to comply with charging standards, it is well ahead of the secondary proposal from the commission. To further reduce waste, the proposed legislation also suggests that waste would be drastically reduced through incentivizing or mandating the “unbundling” of devices and chargers.

For the release of the iPhone 12, Apple announced a major reduction in its packaging and the removal of adapters and headphones. Many consumers were quick to claim the move was a cash grab aimed at making them buy more accessories, but the company claimed it could fit significantly more boxes in its shipments and was reducing transportation waste. The company furthered its environmental initiatives by cutting plastic on its iPhone 13 packaging. Competitors Samsung and Nokia Oyj (

NOKBF, Financial) followed suit this year according to the commission’s studies.

According to CNBC, a spokesperson for Apple said, “We share the European Commission’s commitment to protecting the environment and are already carbon neutral for all of our corporate emissions worldwide.”

“We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world. We look forward to continued engagement with stakeholders to help find a solution that protects consumer interest, as well as the industry’s ability to innovate and bring exciting new technology to users,” they continued.

The proposed legislation will need to be passed by vote in the European Parliament before anything trickles down to manufacturers. Should the law be passed, manufacturers will have a two-year window to bring their products into compliance.

As per usual, Apple’s stock shrugged off the potentially threatening news and was trading at $146.79 per share with a market cap of $2.43 trillion on Sept. 23. According to the GF Value Line, the shares are trading at a significantly overvalued rating.


Top guru shareholders include

Warren Buffett
(Trades, Portfolio),
Ken Fisher
(Trades, Portfolio), Pioneer Investments,
Spiros Segalas
(Trades, Portfolio) and
Jeremy Grantham
(Trades, Portfolio).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

scroll to top