Answer given by Mr Tajani on behalf of the Commission
The latest progress report provided by the signatories of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) has shown that more than 90% of the new devices put on the market by the end of 2012 support the common charging capability. This indicates that the voluntary agreement based on the micro-USB technology has been successful in delivering benefits for citizens without any particular need for stricter legislation.
Concerning Apple’s previous and present proprietary connectors and their compatibility with the agreement, the MoU allows for the use of an adaptor without prescribing the conditions for its provision. Apple was not obliged to consult the Commission on its marketing strategies and the Commission could not interfere on these strategies provided that adaptors were made available.
The Commission is convinced that consumers and manufacturers can benefit from an extension of the initiative on harmonisation of chargers to new categories of products such as the new generation of mobile phones and other small portable electronic devices such as digital cameras and GPS receivers, while taking into account technological innovations. The Commission has therefore launched a study to evaluate the results achieved with the MoU and to analyse the compatibility of the common charger technology with other portable devices on the market. The study will also consider options for appropriate follow-up including voluntary measures (e.g. a voluntary agreement) and legislation.
The results of the study will be available in the first half of 2014, and will be the basis for the preparation of possible further measures in this area.