European Union lawmakers have agreed to a draft resolution stating that all consumer electronics manufacturers must use a common standard battery charger device. Though the law will not take effect until 2017 or so, Apple could eventually be forced to change their Lightning connector to meet the standard.
The draft legislation could be voted on as soon as March 2014, at which time it will need to be turned into national laws by each EU state. Manufacturers will have another year after state adoption to comply, which means that 2017 is about the earliest that Apple might have to change the Lightning connector.
In the midst of this comes the news of a new USB connector that will be a reversible plug ala the Lightning connector. The new standard will be known as the Type C USB connector. Would it be worth a little time and money on Apple’s part to attempt to influence the design to make it compatible with the Lightning connector?
Other pieces of the draft legislation include common rules for radio equipment that includes mobile phones and data modems which will require manufacturers to register their products prior to their release.