EU alters Apple’s future with new development as legislators in the European Union have struck an agreement on legislation that would require all future cellphones sold in the EU—including Apple’s iPhone—to feature the universal USB-C connection for wired charging by the fall of 2024.
Other electronic gadgets, including tablets, digital cameras, headphones, portable video game consoles, and e-readers, will be subject to the ban.
Laptops will be required to comply with the requirement at some point in the future. The law has been in the works for more than a decade, but it was only this morning that multiple EU authorities came to an agreement on its scope.
In a press statement, European Parliament rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba remarked, “Today we have made the universal charger a reality in Europe!” “Multiple chargers stacking up with every new gadget has long been a source of frustration for European customers. “They’ll be able to charge all of their portable equipment with a single charger now.”
The bill also includes measures to handle future wireless chargers and to harmonize fast-charging standards.
The EU Parliament and Council must still pass the law later this year, although this looks to be a formality.
The European Parliament claimed in a news release that the regulation would be in effect “by fall 2024.”All gadgets covered by the legislation and sold in the EU must use USB-C for wired charging by this date.
EU alters Apple’s future with new development
The EU’s implementation of a “common charger” is an attempt to reduce e-waste while also making life easier for customers.
Lawmakers anticipate that in the future, phones and other electronic devices will not need to come with a charger since purchasers will already have the necessary components at home.
According to the EU, the regulation may save customers 250 million euros a year on “unnecessary charger purchases” and reduce e-waste by 11,000 tonnes each year.
When asked if the EU was explicitly targeting Apple during a news conference, Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner, responded “no.”
“The regulation applies to everyone.” “It’s not used against anyone,” Breton explained. “We work for the consumers, not the businesses, and we need to provide these businesses with clear regulations in order for them to access the internal market.”
“If Apple wants to sell its products within our internal market in two years, it must follow our standards, and their gadgets must be USB-C,” said Rapporteur Saliba.
The new rule, according to the EU news release, only applies to gadgets “that are recharged through a wired cable.” Apple may be able to avoid including USB-C in its devices by developing a phone that solely charges wirelessly (as has been previously rumored).
According to recent rumors, Apple is privately testing iPhones with USB-C, and Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the firm might make the move as soon as next year. On certain laptops and tablets, Apple already employs the USB-C standard.
Last September, the European Commission revealed its current legislative ambitions, although the bloc’s efforts to require manufacturers to use a unified charging standard date back over a decade.
Since then, Android manufacturers have settled on micro USB and subsequently, USB-C as the preferred charging standards, while Apple has transitioned from its proprietary 30-pin connection to Lightning.
Apple has resisted the EU’s efforts to compel USB-C on its products. Last year, a spokeswoman told Reuters, “We remain worried that rigid legislation mandating only one type of connection stifles innovation rather than fostering it, which would affect customers in Europe and throughout the world.
“It’s also been suggested that mandating a conversion to USB-C would increase rather than decrease e-waste, as it would render the existing ecosystem of Lightning accessories obsolete.
The new rule, according to critics, would hinder innovation by disincentivizing manufacturers from establishing better charging standards. The EU denies this would be the case, stating that regulations will be updated when new technology is created.
“I don’t believe we’re committing to anything for the next ten years,” Breton remarked at the news conference. “We have a standard in the works, and we have a committed staff that will keep an eye on it all and adjust as time goes on.” “We’ll progress.”
A charging standard for laptops is one component of the law that has yet to be resolved. While smartphone makers will have 24 months to update their gadgets when the legislation is passed this summer, laptop manufacturers will have 40 months.
This, according to EU parliamentarians, is due to the difficulties of developing a universal charger for laptops with varying energy needs.