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The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, is going to force smartphone manufacturers like Apple and other electronics makers to equip their devices with a standard USB-C charging port.
EU lawmakers on Tuesday agreed to a single mobile charging port for mobile phones, tablets and cameras. It means equipment makers will have to comply with the new terms by 2024.
“We have a deal on the #CommonCharger!” EU commissioner Thierry Breton said via Twitter.
The legislation is designed to cut waste and make life easier for consumers who would theoretically be able to use one charger for multiple devices.
It could have a huge impact on Apple, as the company still uses its own Lightning connector to charge iPhones. The company has recently equipped iPads and MacBooks with USB-C ports.
Apple did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment. However, a spokesperson for the company said last September that the firm stands for “innovation and deeply cares about the customer experience.”
“We share the European Commission’s commitment to protecting the environment and are already carbon neutral for all of our corporate emissions worldwide,” they said.
“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. We look forward to continued engagement with stakeholders to help find a solution that protects consumer interest, as well as the industry’s ability to innovate and bring exciting new technology to users.”
Half the chargers sold with mobile phones in 2018 had a USB micro-B connector, while 29% had a USB-C connector and 21% a Lightning connector, according to a 2019 study from the commission.