The 27 EU countries and MEPs agreed to introduce a universal wired charger for “small and medium electronic devices” in the Union within two and a half years, much to the annoyance of Apple, which opposed it.
Apple did not want this, but will have to comply. In two and a half years, smartphones, tablets and other consoles that do not have a USB Type-C port will no longer be sold in the European Union. The 27 EU countries agreed on Tuesday with MEPs to impose this choice on manufacturers. “Under the new regulations, consumers will no longer need different chargers and cables each time they purchase a new device and will be able to use one charger for all of their small and medium-sized portable electronic devices.”explained the European Parliament in a press release.
By fall 2024, mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, headphones and headsets, digital cameras, handheld game consoles, and portable speakers, if they can be charged via a wired cable, “must be equipped with a USB Type-C port, regardless of their manufacturer”, the statement says. Laptops will be subject to the same single charger requirement. “within forty months of the entry into force of the text”i.e. by 2026 (the text will be published in the Official Journal of the EU after the summer, after the official approval of the Council and the European Parliament).
Selling chargers is no longer mandatory
The regulations also require charging speed negotiation for devices that allow fast charging to prevent fast charging from being limited when used with another brand of device. It also makes possible the separation between the sale of electronic devices and chargers, which could allow European consumers, who spend about 2.4 billion euros a year just to buy chargers, to save at least 250 million euros annually, according to the European Commission. From the same source, waste from unused stores, estimated at 11,000 tons per year, could be reduced by nearly 1,000 tons.
This project was launched by the Commission back in 2009, but has so far met with strong resistance from the industry, although the number of types of existing chargers has decreased significantly over the years. From about thirty in 2009, there were three: the Micro USB connector that has long been used in most phones, USB-C, a newer connection, and Lightning, used by Apple.
The California-based group, which claims its Lightning charging technology is used in more than a billion devices worldwide,…