Common USB-C Charger Is Now Compulsory For All Smartphones In Europe; Apple Forced To Change Chargers
As per the order from the European Union, from autumn 2024 Apple will have to change the charger for its iPhones and will have to introduce a single charging port for most electronic devices.
The reform, which is first of its kind, has been passed by an overwhelming majority in the European Parliament on Tuesday.
This also positions EU as a role model when it comes to a global standard-setter on telephone technology.
USB-C Connector as New Standard
The new rules will force Apple to change its charging port for iPhones and other devices and make USB-C connectors used by Android-based devices the standard across the 27-nation bloc.
From 2026, it will also apply to laptops. Though many already use USB-C, but still the timeline has been given in the light of giving manufacturers longer time to adapt.
It will impact Apple the most. However, the silver lining as per some analysts is the fact that this could encourage shoppers to buy the U.S. Company’s new gadgets instead of ones without USB-C.
After the vote, the shares of European semiconductor manufacturers including Apple suppliers STMicro and Infineon rose.
As per analysts, the deal covers e-readers, ear buds and other technologies, meaning it may also have an impact on Samsung (005930.KS), Huawei and other device makers.
Alex Agius Saliba, the EU lawmaker who steered the reform through the EU assembly, said that as per the reform the mobile phones and other devices sold after autumn 2024 will have to be compatible with the single charger.
For the customers, the old chargers will not be outlawed.
The large size of the EU market means the new rules may lead to changes in other countries.
As per the lawmaker, the outlawing of old chargers would have a disproportionate impact on consumers and the environment, however also added that the change is expected to lead to a gradual phase-out of older products.
By autumn 2024, total 13 categories of electronic devices will have to adapt
The Parliament extended the original proposal from the EU’s executive Commission which covered only seven types of devices. Lawmakers also added laptops from 2026.
The Tech giant previously also said that the proposal would in turn hurt the innovation and create a mountain of electronics waste.
For years this change was discussed and found its roots in the complaints that were raised by iPhone and Android users about having to switch to different chargers for their devices.
As per the European Commission, 250 million euros ($247.3 million) will be saved for consumers if a single charger policy is implemented.
A 2019 Commission study showed that half the chargers sold with mobile phones in 2018 had a USB micro-B connector, while 29% had a USB-C connector and 21% a Lightning connector. Lightning connector is the one used by Apple.
Also, Apple is acting upon the same as some reports say that the company is working on an iPhone with a USB-C charging port that could debut next year.
The Commission has also been mandated by lawmakers to assess the possible regulation of wireless charging, but an EU official said no decision has been made yet, noting that the technology is not yet mature.