The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, has revealed proposals to require smartphones, tablets headphones, and other electronics makers to include a standard USB-C charging connector on their products. This move is likely to impact Apple the most because the company uses its proprietary lightning connector rather than the USB-C connector adopted by most of its competitors.
The new regulation aims to reduce waste and make life simpler for customers by allowing them to charge numerous devices with a single charger. Customers will be able to purchase new smartphones without a charger as part of the proposal.
Other smartphone manufacturers, such as Samsung and Huawei, have included USB-C connectors in some of their current models, although many of their older models still retain micro-USB ports. The proposal is part of a revised Radio Equipment Directive that must be approved by the European Parliament before becoming law. Device manufacturers will have two years to comply with the new regulations if the plan is passed into law.
What they are saying
Apple said it disagreed with the proposals in a statement. “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,” a spokesperson from the company told Reuters.
European Commission Executive Vice President, Margrethe Vestager said in a statement: “European consumers were frustrated long enough about incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers. We gave the industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now time is ripe for legislative action for a common charger. This is an important win for our consumers and environment and in line with our green and digital ambitions.”
Commissioner Thierry Breton, responsible for the Internal Market, said: “Charger’s power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that. With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics – an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste.”