Could this be the end of Apple's proprietary charging technology? At least in Europe it could be. To combat the frustration and waste coming from the wide variety of mobile chargers, the European Union voted in favor of a common standard. MicroUSB looks like the most popular choice. Wired UK reports:
MEPs called for a renewed effort to develop a common charger for certain categories of radio equipment -- particularly mobile phones. They amended the draft law to stipulate that the ability to work with common chargers will be an essential requirement for radio equipment. It will be up to the European Commission to decide which specific types of radio equipment will have to meet the requirement.
Apple phones and tablets use a proprietary charger that likely wouldn't be the choice for the new European standards. Would they refit phones to comply? Or abandon the European market? These standards could be in place as soon as 2016.