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iPhone 5 Lightning dock connector cable

Smartphone-makers selling devices in the European Union will be forced to use a common charging port from 2017, after a voluntary agreement between manufacturers was made mandatory by the EU.

Tech companies began working on a common charger in 2009, with many now sharing the same micro USB standard after years of using their own charging systems.

However, while the likes of Samsung, HTC and Sony all now use interchangeable chargers, Apple continues to use its own proprietary Lightning connector for its iPhone.

The regulation will become law in EU member states by 2016, with manufacturers than having a further 12 months to comply. The aim is to reduce electronic waste, out at a massive 51,000 tonnes according to one MEP.

Although Apple isn't playing ball just yet, it did originally sign up to the agreement to implement a universal charging system when the rule was first mooted.

That means we should see future iPhones and iPads using micro USB tech in the future.



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