In a world first, EU governments and parliament agreed on Tuesday to a single mobile charging port for mobile phones, tablets, and cameras, requiring Apple to modify the connector on iPhones sold in Europe by 2024.
After corporations failed to achieve a single solution, the European Commission intervened, claiming that it would make life easier for customers and save them money.
For more than a decade, Brussels has pushed for a single mobile charging connector, sparked by concerns from iPhone and Android users about having to switch between multiple chargers for their smartphones.
iPhones use Lightning cables to charge, while Android smartphones use USB-C connectors.
According to a 2019 Commission study, half of the chargers sold with mobile phones in 2018 had a USB micro-B connector, while 29 percent had a USB-C connector and 21% had a Lightning connector.
In a statement, the European Parliament stated, “By fall 2024, USB Type-C will become the common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets, and cameras in the EU.”
Consumers would save roughly 250 million euros ($267 million) as a result of the agreement, according to EU industry director Thierry Breton.
“It will also allow new technologies like wireless charging to develop and mature without fragmenting the market or causing user annoyance,” he added.
Apple did not immediately react to a request for comment after warning that the move will stifle innovation and result in a mound of technological garbage.
“We are happy to include laptops, e-readers, earbuds, keyboards, computer mice, and portable navigation devices,” said MP Alex Agius Saliba, who led the debate in parliament.
Laptops will be required to comply with the law within 40 months after its implementation. In the future, the EU executive will have the capacity to standardise wireless charging networks.
Samsung, Huawei, and other gadget makers will be impacted by the fact that the agreement covers e-readers, earbuds, and other technology.