Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / World / Europe

EU law on chargers puts Apple in the cold

By JONATHAN POWELL in London | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-06-09 07:15
Share - WeChat
FILE PHOTO: USB-C to Lightning Cable adapters are seen at a new Apple store in Chicago, Illinois, US, October 19, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

European Union member states have agreed on legislation that will require all new smartphones sold within the bloc to use USB-C charging ports by the fall of 2024.

It is a rule change that will force Apple to update its iPhones as it is the only leading smartphone brand without this type of connection.

In a statement, the EU estimated that the legislation may save consumers 250 million euros ($267 million) per year on "unnecessary charger purchases" and reduce 11,000 metric tons of e-waste annually.

"Under the new rules, consumers will no longer need a different charging device and cable every time they purchase a new device, and can use one single charger for all of their small and medium-sized portable electronic devices," the EU said.

It said the rules will apply to tablets, e-readers, earbuds, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld video game consoles and portable speakers that are rechargeable via a wired cable. Laptops will have to be adapted to fit the requirements 40 months after they come into force.

With the proposals agreed, all that remains is for the European Parliament and European Council to formally approve the rule change later this year.

The EU agreement is the first of its kind in the world and came after companies failed to agree on a common solution, reported Agence France-Presse.

It noted that Apple, which uses its "lightning" charger for most mobile devices, had contested the law as unnecessary, and that the US tech giant had refused to adhere to a voluntary bid by the EU to reduce the number of chargers on the market that began in 2009.

In a news briefing to announce the legislative plans, Member of European Parliament Alex Agius Saliba said they have made the common charger a reality in Europe.

"European consumers were long frustrated with multiple chargers piling up with every new device. Now, they will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics," said Saliba, who led the debate in the European Parliament.

The EU's Commissioner for internal market Thierry Breton denied the bloc had targeted Apple. "The rule applies to all and sundry. It's not adopted against anybody," Breton said at the briefing. "We're working for the consumers, not the companies, and we have to give these companies rules; rules that are clear in order to enter the internal market."

Ben Wood, a chief analyst at tech specialist CCS Insight, told The Guardian the announcement could become a "nonissue" for Apple as some of its products, including Mac and iPad Pro, already support USB-C.


Most Viewed in 24 Hours
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349