MEPs vote for universal phone connection and an end to Apple Lightning

The resolution passed with 582 votes in favour to 40 against, reports the BBC.

European legislators have been pushing for a universal charger for a decade, but Apple has ferociously resisted.

Polish MEP Roza Thun serves on the European Parliament's consumer protection committee. According to a statement released earlier this month, the step was necessary because "the voluntary agreements between different industry players have not yielded the desired results".

Will this really help cut down on waste?

In its resolution on the European Green Deal, Parliament called for an ambitious new circular economy action plan aiming to reduce the total environmental and resource footprint of EU production and consumption, with resource efficiency, zero pollution and waste prevention as key priorities. During 2016, the a year ago that data was made available, such waste generated in the European Union added up to 12.3 million tonnes or 36.6 pounds for each person living in the EU.

"These trends lead to the production of additional e-waste, including chargers", the resolution reads.

"We are drowning in an ocean of plastics, cables, chargers and other electronic waste", Thun said.

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What could it mean for Canadians?

Only the iPhone and some related accessories still rely on the lighting connector. In other words, such a major redesign would probably be rolled out across new Apple devices around the world.

Meanwhile, the initiative sharply criticized Apple, whose mobile devices are endowed with Lightning connector.

"Many mobile telephones already use wireless charging methods and that fragmentation in this area should be avoided", the text says.

What kinds of chargers are available now?

This yielded some success, as there were 30 different charging standards back in 2009, and the number is now down to three, but this is not good enough in the view of most MEPs.

While the EP's resolution doesn't mention any particular standard by name, it's fairly reasonable that USB-C, which is the most widespread standard, would be selected as the sole standard. Saying that, seeing as how MacBooks and the iPad Pro devices already use this standard, it's possible that Apple was heading in that direction anyway. It's also reversible, meaning a user is less likely to damage a device by trying to jam in the connector the wrong way.

Micro-USB connectors may be older and slower, but they're still used in lower-end models on the market. And Apple needs to get on board. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Apple doesn't want to switch to a common charging standard just yet.

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