The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, proposed a new regulation on Thursday that would require smartphone and other electronics manufacturers to provide their gadgets with a common USB-C charging connection.
The new regulation is intended to reduce waste and simplify life for customers, who would potentially be able to use a single charger for several devices.
It has the potential to have a significant influence on Apple, given the firm still utilises its proprietary Lightning connector to charge iPhones. The business recently added USB-C connectors to select iPads and MacBooks.
In response, an Apple spokesman stated that the company stands for “innovation and truly cares about the consumer experienc
“We share the European Commission’s commitment to protecting the environment and are already carbon neutral for all of our corporate emissions worldwide,” they said.
“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. We look forward to continued engagement with stakeholders to help find a solution that protects consumer interest, as well as the industry’s ability to innovate and bring exciting new technology to users.”
Apple’s rivals such as Samsung and Huawei have included USB-C connectors in some of their most recent phones, but many of their older models use micro-USB ports.
USB-C would also become the standard port for all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers, and handheld video game consoles under the law.
The commission also stated that it wants tech companies to cease including chargers with their gadgets.
“European consumers were frustrated long enough about incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers,” European Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.
“We gave 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.” she added.
EU Commissioner Thierry Breton noted that, “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.”
The idea is part of a new Radio Equipment Directive that must be approved by the European Parliament before it becomes law.
If the plan is passed, gadget manufacturers will have two years to comply with the new regulations.
The European Parliament voted in favour of new regulations on a single charger in 2020, indicating that the newest plan may receive widespread support.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)