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(Pocket-lint) - Apple has hit back at the prospect of losing its proprietary Lightning port connection, saying the potential European Commission ban would "create an unprecedented volume of electronic waste and greatly inconvenience users".

In an unusually lengthy statement Apple also points out that it is also increasingly working with the USB-C standard, anyway: 

"We do not believe there is a case for regulation given the industry is already moving to the use of USB Type-C through a connector or cable assembly.

"This includes Apple’s USB-C power adapter which is compatible with all iPhone and iPad devices [via a not-included USB-C to Lightning cable]. This approach is more affordable and convenient for consumers, enables charging for a wide range of portable electronic products, encourages people to re-use their charger and allows for innovation.

The forcibly-worded statement is the biggest sign yet that Lightning is here to stay and not - as has been suggested by rumours in the recent past - about to be replaced by USB-C completely. 

Apple claims that a ban on proprietary ports would "harm consumers in Europe and the economy as a whole" because of wasting the accessories they already own.

The company cites a report - that it commissioned - from Copenhagen Economics that suggests a regulatory mandated single type of device-end connector is likely to "entail losses of consumer value of at least €1.5 billion".

It also points out that over half of EU households already have just one type of device connector across all of their mobile devices, so in other words they are either an Apple household, or they use USB-C or micro USB to charge their devices - but usually one type. 

The report adds "There is no scope for those households to reduce the number of chargers they use by mandating a single device-end connector".

Apple's statement suggests that "legislation would have a direct negative impact by disrupting the hundreds of millions of active devices and accessories used by our European customers and even more Apple customers worldwide, creating an unprecedented volume of electronic waste and greatly inconveniencing users.

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And it ends by suggesting that the European Commission needs to think more about the consequences of a ban. "We hope the Commission will continue to seek a solution that does not restrict the industry’s ability to innovate and bring exciting new technology to customers."

Writing by Dan Grabham.