Apple forced to make changes to chargers as EU makes new policy

Apple and other smartphone makers will need to support USB-C as part of a single charging standard for mobile devices around the world European Union by September 2024 at the latest.

European Union officials said they signed a preliminary agreement on Tuesday requiring a unified charging cord across the 27-nation bloc.

It was part of a wider effort to make products sold in the EU more sustainable, reduce electronic waste and eliminate “cable clutter”, said European Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager.

The USB-C cable and the Apple logo on the iPhone can be seen in this illustration photo, taken in Krakow, Poland on September 25, 2021
Apple and other smartphone manufacturers must support USB-C as part of a single charging standard for mobile devices across the European Union from September 2024 (Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“European consumers were frustrated with multiple chargers piling up in their homes,” said Alex Agius Saliba, the European Parliament’s chief negotiator, at a press conference in Brussels.

“Now they can go with one charger for all portable electronics, which is an important step in increasing consumer convenience.”

According to the legislation, “mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, earphones, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, portable video game consoles and portable speakers that are rechargeable via a wired cable must be equipped with a USB port. Type-C port, regardless of their manufacture.”

The upcoming rules will apply to new small and medium-sized electronics sold in the EU.

While the rules only apply to devices sold in the European single market, like the EU’s strict privacy regulations, they could eventually become a de facto standard for the rest of the world.

European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton speaks at a media conference on a common charging solution for mobile phones at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Thursday 23 September 2021.
European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton speaks at a media conference on a common charging solution for mobile phones at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Thursday 23 September 2021. (AP Photo/Thierry Monasse)

Chargers that support fast charging should also maintain the same charging speeds. The measure will not affect wireless charging technologies.

Consumers should be able to purchase a device without the included charger if they wish, which EU estimates will save consumers €250 million ($371 million) a year.

“One in three chargers that come with these products are never opened from the original packaging,” said Saliba, according to the European Commission’s impact assessment.

The new rule will bring major changes for iPhone users.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But during the legislative process, Apple told EU officials that the proposed rule would render obsolete as many as a billion devices and accessories that use the company’s proprietary Lightning connector, according to a report. Report from the EU Parliament

A 2021 study cited in the same report found that iPhones with the Lightning connector accounted for 18 percent of new cell phone sales in 2019, with 44 percent using USB-C and 38 percent using the older USB Micro-B. connector.

13 years of iPhone: how Apple has changed

The writing has been hanging on the wall for a while for the end of Apple’s Lightning connector. Apple already uses the USB-C standard in some Macs and iPads and is Reportedly testing iPhone models that swap the Lightning port.

But Tuesday’s announcement could accelerate Apple’s move to USB-C and potentially cause the company to drop Lightning around the world for good.

Attempts to impose a single charging standard in Europe date back more than a decade. Officials had gained industry support for the USB Micro-B standard at one point, but a voluntary agreement between major manufacturers on it expired in 2014 and was not replaced. In contrast, the upcoming law requiring USB-C is one of the first of its kind.

Tuesday’s announcement followed trilateral negotiations by the European Commission, Parliament and Council. The levy measure has yet to be finalized before it takes effect, but the process is largely seen as a mere formality.

#Apple #forced #chargers #policy

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.