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Fanbois, prepare to lose your sh*t as BRUSSELS KILLS IPHONE dock

Companies can no longer force you to buy proprietary chargers

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Just spent 50 quid on the latest iPhone dock? You'd better start saving for a new one, because the EU has set a timetable for its plans to force all phone manufacturers to use the same charger.

Although the EU is well known for its diversity policies, it has been planning to homogenise phone chargers for some time. Ultimately, of course, this means we'll all save money and won't be forced to cough for branded accessories purchases as we'll be able to juice our phone at any port...

Now it looks as if Apple's lighting connector and other propriety plugs could bite the dust in Europe and Blighty by 2017, assuming we're still part of the EU.

Yesterday, MEPs struck a deal with the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of Ministers during negotiations on the sale of radio equipment, resulting in the publication of a draft directive on the "common charger".

There are two more steps involved in passing the legislation. First the Internal Market Committee have to vote on whether to agree to enshrine the proposal in EU law and then all member states will have to also vote on whether to accept the changes.

All this is likely to be completed by March. Member states will then have two years to start instituting the law and manufacturers just one year to sort their phones out.

"With this agreement we will find more safety under the Christmas tree. I am especially pleased that we agreed on the introduction of a common charger. This will benefit the consumers," said rapporteur Barbara Weiler.

Apple enraged fanbois when it replaced the iPhone, iPad and iPod charger with its new Lightning connector. It also shook up a market which had been built around the old 30-pin adaptor, requiring firms which made accessories to update their gear and consumers to buy a 25 quid converter.

Now the carousel is starting all over again, although having a common charger will benefit both consumers and accessory manufacturers in the long run, particularly Apple fanbois, who currently have to pay a small fortune for an official fruity charger.

In the EU at least, they may soon be able to buy a Tesco value plug for a few quid. ®

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