A couple years ago, the European Union looked at all of the hundreds of proprietary gadget chargers out there and said, “Enough. Let’s just agree on a standard so if I forget my charger, I can use one of my friends’ instead.”
A good idea, right? The EU decided upon the Micro USB standard as the one that all mobile manufacturers should use. But here’s where it all gets sort of goofy, because the EU then said that companies could still use proprietary chargers, as long as they sold adapters for the Micro USB standard.
Which is what explains Apple’s latest iPhone accessory, The iPhone Micro USB Adapter, which costs just eight quid over at Apple’s UK online store. Apple gets to play nice with EU regulators while still maintaining its closed, multi-billion dollar ecosystem of accessories that depend on an Apple Dock Connector.