EU agrees all mobile phones and tablets must have a common USB-C charger in blow to Apple

In a world-first, EU countries and politicians agreed on Tuesday to a single mobile charging port for phones, tablets, and cameras, which would force Apple to modify the connector on iPhones sold in Europe by 2024.

After businesses failed to establish a consensus solution, the European Commission intervened, claiming that it would make customers’ lives easier and save them money.

For more than a decade, Brussels has pushed for a single mobile charging connector, driven by complaints from iPhone and Android users who were forced to switch between incompatible chargers.

The Lightning cable is used to charge current iPhones, while USB-C connectors are used to power Android smartphones.

According to research conducted by the European Commission in 2019, half of the chargers sold with smartphones in 2018 had a USB micro-B connector, while 29% 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 be the common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets, and cameras in the EU.”

Consumers will save approximately €250 million, according to EU industry director Thierry Breton.

“It will also allow new technologies like wireless charging to develop and mature without fragmenting the market and causing user annoyance,” he added.

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Apple did not immediately react to a request for comment after warning that the move would harm innovation and produce a pile of electronic waste.

“We are happy that laptops, e-readers, earbuds, keyboards, computer mice, and portable navigation devices are also included,” said MEP Alex Agius Saliba, who oversaw the debate in the European Parliament.

Within 40 months of the law’s implementation, laptops will be required to comply with it. Wireless charging solutions will be harmonized by the European Commission in the future.

Samsung, Huawei, and other device makers will be affected by the fact that the agreement covers e-readers, earbuds, and other technology.

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