The European Union could force Apple to switch to USB and drop Lightning

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The European Union recently fined Google a boatload of money over their Android OS and now have their sights set on Apple. Well, Apple’s Lightning connector anyway. The European Union could be looking to force Apple to ditch the proprietary Lightning connector in favor of the more universal USB connector, most likely USB Type-C.

According to Cult of Mac, in 2011 the European Union pressured Apple and other OEMs to find a common charging standard. While other OEMs eventually settled on MicroUSB, Apple’s contribution was adapters.

That doesn’t satisfy that EU Commissioner of Competition. “Given the unsatisfactory progress with this voluntary approach, the Commission will shortly launch an impact assessment study to evaluate costs and benefits of different other options,” said Margrethe Vestager, according to Reuters.

Apple’s motivation to keep using Lightning connectors is pretty simple, profits. The company makes a lot of money in licensing fees from third-party manufacturers who sell Lightning connector accessories. Apple’s MFi program gives third-parties the Apple seal of approval which Apple also promotes to its users.

Apple also does not cover device damage caused by third-party accessories that are not MFi certified, so it’s in the best interest of the third-party maker and the consumer to purchase MFi certified accessories.

It will be interesting to see if the EU can actually force Apple to switch to USB. Doing so will most certainly cut into a nice steady stream of licensing monies that doesn’t cost them much to earn. There is a fair share of consumers who would actually welcome a standard across all device makers., so it wouldn’t be all bad that Apple switches to USB Type-C. I’d sure like to see it happen.

What do you think of the EU possibly forcing Apple to switch to USB charging? Let us know in the comments below or on GooglePlus, Twitter, or Facebook.

[button link=”” icon=”fa-external-link” side=”left” target=”blank” color=”285b5e” textcolor=”ffffff”]Source: Cult of Mac[/button]

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