The European Parliament and EU Member States have agreed on the use of a single charging port design, with effect from 2024.
This follows nearly a decade of deliberations on the matter that, the European Commission says, will make consumers’ lives simpler. This decision will deal a big blow to Apple which has predominantly preferred unique chargers for its products.
A statement from the Commission stated, “As of 2024, all new handheld mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, handheld videogame consoles, headphones, headsets, portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems, and earbuds will have to be equipped with a USB-C charging port. The deadline for laptops is 2026. “
This is the first time the world is experiencing such legislation. Besides handing great convenience to consumers, the move is also expected to substantially reduce electronic waste.
“Leveraging the power of the Single Market, these new and long-awaited rules will bring resource and CO2 savings while allowing technological innovation.” The statement by the Commission stated.
The EU market is home to more than 450 million people who form a segment of the world’s richest consumers. This decision to have a universal charging port for all devices will have a ripple effect on the global phone market and other electronics too.
While iPhones use Lightning cable phones, Android phones use USB-C connectors. This disparity has been deemed cumbersome as users must have each of the different types.
EU industry chief Thierry Breton said that this new agreement “will also allow new technologies such as wireless charging to emerge and to mature without letting innovation become source of market fragmentation and consumer inconvenience.”