The EU has settled on a single mobile charging port.
Apple (AAPL.O) will have to modify the connector on iPhones sold in Europe by 2024 after EU governments and politicians agreed on Tuesday to create a single mobile charging port for phones, tablets, and cameras, a first in the world.
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.
“By autumn 2024, USB Type-C will become the common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets and cameras in the EU,” the European Parliament said in a statement.
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 such as wireless charging to emerge and to mature without letting innovation become a source of market fragmentation and consumer inconvenience,” he said.
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 proud that laptops, e-readers, earbuds, keyboards, computer mice, and portable navigation devices are also included,” said lawmaker Alex Agius Saliba who steered the debate at the parliament.
Laptops will have to comply with the legislation within 40 months of it entering into force. The EU executive will have the power in future to harmonise wireless charging systems. Samsung (005930.KS), Huawei (HWT.UL), and other gadget makers will be impacted by the agreement’s inclusion of e-readers, earbuds, and other technology.