The EC Again Leads the Global Effort Against E-waste: Will Apple be Forced to Scrap its Lightning Connectors?

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By Filomena Iovino | 4Q 2021 | IN-6316


Apple Opposes European Commission Plan for Mandating a Single Universal USB-C Port


In September 2021, the European Commission (EC) revised its Radio Equipment Directive to take an additional step against e-waste and improve consumer convenience. The proposal aims to harmonize charging ports to use of a USB-C connector, as well as for fast-charging technology, which could also accelerate progress towards use of wireless chargers and free-port devices. As a result, it will be a requirement for all smartphones, headphones, portable speakers, and other devices to have a USB-C port, with the exception of smartwatches, earbuds, and fitness bands due to their relatively smaller size. In addition, the EC has proposed decoupling charging leads from electronic device sales in all countries within the EU.

Despite various objections to the proposal, which Apple sees as a roadblock to progress and technology, the EC has emphasized the importance of solutions that support both the environment and consumers while pursuing digital and green goals. However, it is unclear for how long and to what extent this proposal, if approved, w…

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