You may have read back in September 2021, that the EU proposed a new rule that manufacturers will be forced to create a universal solution for phones and small electronic devices.
The aim of this was to reduce waste of plastic charging devices and encourage users to reuse them. At the time Apple disagreed, stating 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". Apple is the main manufacturer of smartphones using a custom charging port, as its iPhone series uses an Apple-made Lightning connector.
On October 5th 2022, the BBC had a further update, reporting that “MPs have voted for a law requiring all new portable devices to use the same type of charging cable. Smartphones and tablets, including the Apple iPhone and iPad, would have to use a USB-C charger from 2024, while laptop manufacturers would have until 2026 to make the change.
There were 602 votes in favour and 13 against, with eight abstaining.
Member states are expected to grant approval on 24 October, before the rule is signed into law at the parliament.”
Apple have been contacted for further comment…
The new rule will cover a range of "small and medium-sized portable electronics", according the EU, including:
- mobile phones
- mice and keyboards
- GPS (global positioning system) devices
- headphones, headsets and earphones
- digital cameras
- handheld videogame consoles
- portable speaker
The UK government have reported that they are not currently considering a common charger but under Post-Brexit arrangements the move could apply to Northern Ireland.
Source: BBC News