In a press release the European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection says it’s approved a bill that states that, by autumn 2024, USB Type-C will become the common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets and cameras in the EU.
The provisional agreement on the amended Radio Equipment Directive, establishes a single charging solution for certain electronic devices. This law is a part of a broader EU effort “to make products in the EU more sustainable, to reduce electronic waste, and make consumers’ lives easier.”
Under the new rules, consumers will no longer need a different charging device and cable every time they purchase a new device, and can use one single charger for all of their small and medium-sized portable electronic devices. Mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, earbuds, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers that are rechargeable via a wired cable will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C port, regardless of their manufacturer. Laptops will also have to be adapted to the requirements by 40 months after the entry into force.
Apple doesn’t like the idea. In a Jan. 31, 2019, filing, the tech giant said that regulations that would drive conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones freeze innovation rather than encourage it. The company added that such proposals are bad for the environment and unnecessarily disruptive for customers.
In its filing, the iPhone maker said: “More than 1 billion Apple devices have shipped using a Lightning connector in addition to an entire ecosystem of accessory and device manufacturers who use Lightning to serve our collective customers. We want to ensure that any new legislation will not result in the shipment of any unnecessary cables or external adaptors with every device, or render obsolete the devices and accessories used by many millions of Europeans and hundreds of millions of Apple customers worldwide. This would result in an unprecedented volume of electronic waste and greatly inconvenience users. To be forced to disrupt this huge market of customers will have consequences far beyond the stated aims of the Commission.
“Beginning in 2009, Apple led industry efforts to work together to promote a common charging solution. And with the emergence of USB Type-C, we have committed alongside six other companies that all new smartphone models will leverage this standard through a connector or a cable assembly. We believe this collective effort by many of the industry’s leading companies is better for innovation, better for consumers and better for the environment.”