Way back in 2014, European lawmakers made a broadly sensible proposal that could have hurt Apple. The European Union’s Radio Equipment Directive called for a European charger standard asking all smartphone manufacturers to use compatible chargers. There were two key elements to the proposal. First, a common voltage and amperage. Second, a connector to plug a charger into a smartphone… The proposal reflected the fact that, for a long time, every smartphone needed its own charger. They output an arbitrary number of volts, a random number of milliamps, and often had a proprietary connector. By 2014, however, things had changed a lot. It was already the case that most smartphone manufacturers had adopted microUSB as their charging method. That meant everything from voltage to physical connector was dictated by the USB standard, and you could use most chargers with most phones. For that reason, the proposal seemed reasonably practical if unnecessary: there was already widespread support for the microUSB standard. Apple had switched from the old 30-pin connector to Lightning just two years earlier. There was exactly zero chance it was going to switch from the slim, double-sided and te...