EU rules to force USB-C chargers for all phones
Manufacturers will be forced to create a universal charging solution for phones and small electronic devices, under a new rule proposed by the European Commission (EC).
The aim is to reduce waste by encouraging consumers to re-use existing chargers when buying a new device.
All smartphones sold in the EU must have USB-C chargers, the proposal said.
Apple has warned such a move would harm innovation.
The tech giant is the main manufacturer of smartphones using a custom charging port, as its iPhone series uses an Apple-made “Lightning” connector.
“We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world,” the firm told the BBC.
It added that it aims to make every Apple device and usage carbon neutral by 2030.
Most Android phones come with USB micro-B charging ports or have already moved to the more modern USB-C standard.
“Hopefully it will eventually become a non-issue if Apple keeps adding USB-C to more devices.”
It may be a number of years before the proposals come into effect.
The legislative proposal, known as a Directive, will be debated by the European Parliament and national governments.
MEPs and member states may suggest amendments to the proposal. Only once the EC has agreed these amendments, will the directive be enacted.
The EC hopes that will happen in 2022 – after which member states usually have two years to enact the rules into national law, and manufacturers will have 24 months to change their charging ports.
“We gave industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now time is ripe for legislative action for a common charger. This is an important win for our consumers and environment and in line with our green and digital ambitions,” Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager said.