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Europe approves common charger standard for mobe-makers

Apple and its proprietary Lightning rig may yet wriggle out of this one

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The European Parliament has signed off on its proposal to force mobile phone makers to adopt a common charging standard.

The new regulation means that if mobe-makers' want to meet European standards for “radio equipment” they'll have to ensure their products will have to be chargeable using micro-USB. But there are ways out of the proposal: the communiqué about the vote on the issue says “... it will be up to the European Commission to decide which specific types of radio equipment will have to meet this requirement”.

The vote also means that European Union members have two years in which to implement the regulation, with 2017 the target date for compliance by mobe-makers.

That leaves plenty of time in which to lobby for exemptions.

Most mobe-makers have moved to micro-USB charging, but the likes of Apple prefer their own arrangements on the basis that their technology is superior. With more and more of a phone's synching needs being met wirelessly and a single pin sufficing for charging over USB, just how Apple can dodge this one remains to be seen.

If we assume Cupertino insists on its own standard, perhaps slipping an adaptor into the box for future sold-in-Euroland iDevices will do the trick. ®

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