Oct 4, 2022 - Technology

EU approves law that would force Apple to switch iPhone charger

Lightning and USB-C cables

Lightning and USB-C cables. Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The European Union parliament voted on Tuesday to approve a new law requiring all mobile phones, tablets and cameras to use the same charging port.

Why it matters: The measure, which was provisionally agreed to by member states in June, is intended to reduce electronic waste and increase convenience for consumers.

The big picture: The law, which passed 602-13, requires all devices sold in the EU to be equipped with USB-C charging ports by fall 2024 and will extend to laptops by spring 2026.

  • The decision will have a distinct effect on manufacturers like Apple, which has designed some of its devices such as iPhones around unique chargers. Some of Apple's current tablets and laptops already use the USB-C charger, as do some Android phones, per Bloomberg.
  • The new rule will also apply to a range of other devices, such as video game consoles, keyboards, portable speakers and headphones.
  • Apple has previously said the measure would dampen innovation and create more electronic waste, Reuters reported.
  • The European Commission has estimated that the law will save consumers a combined 250 million euros per year "on unnecessary charger purchases."

What they're saying: "The common charger will finally become a reality in Europe," Alex Agius Saliba, a member of the European Parliament representing Maltese, said in the press release.

  • "This future-proof law allows for the development of innovative charging solutions in the future, and it will benefit everyone — from frustrated consumers to our vulnerable environment," he added.

What to watch: All 27 member states must now approve the measure.

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