EU approves phone charger reform, forcing Apple to adapt

TEMPO.CO, Brussels – The European Parliament on Tuesday (October 4th) approved new rules that will introduce a single charging port for mobile phones, tablets and cameras in the European Union by 2024, a world first that should affect the manufacturer of iPhone Apple more than its rivals.

The vote confirms an earlier agreement between EU institutions and will make USB-C connectors used by Android-based devices the EU standard, forcing Apple (AAPL.O) to change its charging port for iPhones and other devices.

Among the major electronics suppliers to European customers, Apple is expected to be among the hardest hit, but analysts also expect a possible positive impact as it could encourage shoppers to buy the company’s latest gadgets instead of those without USB-C.

The deal also covers e-readers, headphones and other technology, meaning it could also impact Samsung, Huawei and other device makers, analysts said.

Apple, Samsung and Huawei were not immediately available for comment.

Apple has in the past warned that the proposal would hurt innovation and create a mountain of e-waste.

European lawmakers supported the reform by a large majority, with 602 votes in favor and only 13 against.

The change had been discussed for years and was prompted by complaints from iPhone and Android users about having to switch to different chargers for their devices.

The European Commission estimated that the single charger would save consumers around 250 million euros ($247.3 million).

Half of the chargers sold with mobile phones in 2018 had a USB micro-B connector, while 29% had a USB-C connector and 21% had a Lightning connector, which is used by Apple, according to a study by the Commission de 2019.


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