Europe’s set to mandate common phone chargers — so where does this leave Apple?

Gigaom

This should be fun – the European Union is almost certain to force mobile device manufacturers, Apple(s aapl) included, to conform to a single battery charger specification, in order to cut down on electronic waste.

It’s almost three years since the EU gave manufacturers a choice: all adopt the same micro-USB charger, or face new legislation. Pretty much everyone fell in line. For most manufacturers, it was a no-brainer – if everyone uses the same charger, it shouldn’t be necessary to ship a new one with each device. This cuts down on e-waste while also allowing for smaller packaging and, as a result, lower shipping costs.

At the time, Apple signed a memorandum of understanding saying it would play ball. Luckily for Apple, which had built up a lucrative peripherals-licensing business around its connector, the memorandum allowed signatories to ship the standardized charger bundled with an adapter for the…

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