EU approves one portable charging port in a blow for Apple

BRUSSELS, June 7 (Reuters) – Apple Inc (AAPL.O) The connector on iPhones sold in Europe will have to be changed by 2024 after European Union countries and lawmakers on Tuesday approved a single portable charging port for first-world mobile phones, tablets and cameras.

The political intervention, which the European Commission said would make life easier for consumers and save them money, came after companies failed to come up with a common solution.

Brussels has been pushing for a single portable charging port for more than a decade, prompted by complaints from iPhone and Android users about having to switch to different chargers for their devices.

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iPhones charge from a Lightning cable, while Android devices use USB-C connectors.

Half of the chargers sold with cell phones in 2018 had a USB micro-B connector, while 29% had a USB-C connector and 21% had a Lightning connector, according to a 2019 panel study.

“By the fall of 2024, USB Type-C will become the common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets and cameras in the European Union,” the European Parliament said in a statement.

iPhone 12 phones are seen at the new Apple Store on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles, California, US, June 24, 2021. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

EU industry chief Thierry Breton said the deal would save about 250 million euros ($267 million) to consumers.

“It will also allow new technologies such as wireless charging to emerge and mature without allowing innovation to become a source of market segmentation and consumer annoyance,” he said.

Apple, which warned that the proposal would harm innovation and create a mountain of e-waste, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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“We are proud to have laptops, e-readers, earphones, keyboards, computer mice and portable navigation devices,” said Representative Alex Agios Saliba, who led the debate in Parliament.

Laptops must comply with the legislation within 40 months of its entry into force. In the future, the EU executive will have the ability to coordinate wireless charging systems.

The fact that the deal also covers e-readers, earphones and other technologies will affect Samsung (005930.KS)and Huawei (HWT.UL) and other device makers.

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(Reporting by Fu Yun Che, Editing by Louise Heavens and Mark Potter

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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