It’s a small revolution within the European Union (EU)! Under a landmark agreement tentatively approved by European lawmakers on Tuesday, June 7, Apple and other smartphone makers will have to adopt the USB-C universal charger by 2024.
This decision puts an end to years of debate and sweeps away the objections ofApple that such regulation would hinder innovation and harm consumers.
By fall 2024, all mobile phones, tablets and cameras sold in the EU will need to have the same USB-C port for wired charging, according to a tentative deal announced by EU lawmakers.
This measure, a world first, will apply to a whole range of electronic devices, including smartphones, headphones, e-readers, portable game consoles, portable speakers and tablets “regardless of their manufacturer”. . In addition, it will guarantee a “harmonization” of the charging speed for devices equipped with fast charging.
Laptop makers must also comply, but they have an additional 40 months after the new rules take effect.
The European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, welcomed the adoption of these new measures. According to him, this is a victory for consumers and an important step towards electronic waste reduction. Given the number of electronic devices used every day, having a “universal charger” is also “common sense”, added Thierry Breton.
This new measure, which has been the subject of negotiations for years within the European institutions, must still be officially approved by the European Parliament and the European Council, which should be the case during the course of the year.
For many years, the EU has sought to standardize the charging of electronic devices, but for ten years it has struggled to overcome several political obstacles. Adopting a universal charger would reduce electronic waste and save money. Moreover, this measure would be beneficial for consumers, who, according to the EU, are “frustrated” to see the accumulation of incompatible chargers in their drawers. Apple, which has invested in its own “Lightning” charging port, has proven to be a fierce opponent, arguing that standardization will hurt consumers and stifle innovation.
What about wireless charging? Universal charging port rules only apply to devices using wired charging, the EU said, meaning other devices using wireless charging won’t have to include a USB-C port . However, the European Commission may develop standards on wireless charging in the future as it becomes more widespread.
In total, 250 million euros are wasted each year in the EU on the purchase of unnecessary chargers, according to the European Council. In addition, unused or discarded chargers and cables produce some 11,000 tonnes of waste.
Article translated from Forbes US – Author: Robert Hart
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