Apple will have to change the connector on its iPhones sold in Europe by 2024 as EU countries and EU lawmakers on Tuesday agreed to a single mobile charging port for mobile phones, tablets and cameras.
The agreement is a world first and came after companies failed to agree on a common solution. The European Commission had pushed for a single mobile charging port more than a decade ago.
Users if iPhones and Android phones have long complained about having to use different chargers for their devices. The former is charged from a Lightning cable while Android-based devices are powered using USB-C connectors.
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 Commission study.
“The deal we struck this morning will bring around 250 million euros ($267 million) of savings to consumers,” EU industry chief Thierry Breton said in a statement.
“It will also allow new technologies such as wireless charging to emerge and to mature without letting innovation to become source of market fragmentation and consumer inconvenience,” he said.
“By autumn 2024, USB Type-C will become the common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets and cameras in the EU,” the European Parliament said in a statement.
Maltese MEP Alex Agius Saliba had pushed this proposal within the EP.
In a media press briefing, Agius Saliba said that this legislation will drastically reduce the 13,000 tons of e-waste Europe creates every year. “Apart from reducing the e-waste, we are helping the environment, helping the consumer and finally helping businesses reduce production costs,” Agius Saliba said.