Answer given by Mr Tajani on behalf of the Commission
The signatories of the memorandum of understanding on the harmonisation of chargers for mobile phones (MoU)(1) agreed to introduce a common charging solution based on Micro-USB technology. The MoU also allowed for the use of an adaptor and does not prescribe the conditions for its provision.
The Commission does not have evidence that Apple has breached the agreement. The iPhone 5 can be used with an adaptor allowing it to be connected to the common charger. The Commission does not interfere on the marketing strategies of the manufacturers.
A recent progress report provided by the MoU signatories has shown that 90% of the new devices placed on the market by the signatories and other manufacturers by the end of 2012 support the common charging capability. This indicates that the voluntary agreement has been successful in delivering benefits for citizens.
The Commission is convinced that, while taking into account technological innovations, consumers and manufacturers can benefit from an extension of the initiative on harmonisation of charger to new categories of products including the new generation of mobile phones and other small electronic devices, such as digital cameras, tablets and music players. Therefore the Commission is organising the launch of a study evaluating the results achieved with the MoU and to consider options for appropriate follow-up including voluntary agreement and legislation. In this respect the Commission will take into account comments received on the use of an adaptor in the preparation of further measures which will follow the MoU.