The European Union (EU) is going to impose uniform electronic-device charger standards on tech companies.
- EU Parliament voted in a 602-to-13 vote on October 4 to standardize USB-C connectors in 27 EU nations in an effort to reduce generated waste and make it easier for consumers.
- The decision will affect every smartphone, camera, video game console, laptop, e-reader, earbud, and electronic device that will be coming out after the law goes into effect.
- “Apple will have to change the charger for its iPhones in the European Union from autumn 2024 to comply with new rules introducing a single charging port for most electronic devices,” says Reuters.
- “For years, EU officials in Brussels tried to coax Apple, Motorola, Nokia, and others, to agree on a uniform port for devices, allowing people to finally get rid of the mountain of cables that pile up in offices and homes, or are dumped in landfills,” says Fortune.
- Older chargers will not be totally banned but cannot be produced once the law goes into effect.
Why it’s news
The law is bad news for Apple, which will be the most immediately affected by the decision. The most recent models of Google’s new Pixel 7 phone use USB-C. The new iPhone 14 usings lightning cables.
The company stated previously that such a law would hurt innovation and create more waste, Axios reports.
“For years, Apple pushed back against Brussels’s calls to replace the lightning charger—a port unique to Apple devices like iPhones and iPads—and spent millions lobbying EU officials against the EU’s common charger plans,” says Fortune.
EU politicians are celebrating the nearly unanimous decision in favor of universal chargers.
“After more than 10 years waiting for voluntary action by industry, we considered it high time to introduce the law,” says Bulgarian representative Andrey Kovatchev.
“There are kilometers of cables in every house. I have three kids, and they’re playing next to me right now with one video game, and a very different charger to everything else. Everyone has 20 or 30 cables at home. It’s much better to have two or three equal cables to use with your phone, camera, reader, keyboard, and laptop.”