EU announces new rule of standard charger for Apple phones and electronics

On Tuesday, the European Union announced that new Apple smartphones, laptops, tablets and other electronics would be required to have a standard charger by 2026. This new policy comes as a result of customer frustration as well as environmental issues. Consumers have to keep a whole array of different charges for powering up Apple devices, portable speakers as well as some gaming systems.

The new policy is unique as this is the first time that governments have taken decisions about product design. The EU also believes that a standard charger would decrease electronic waste. Consumers will also be able to power their devices easily using a standard charger for all electronics.

According to a release on the legislation “mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, earbuds, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld video games consoles and portable speakers that are rechargeable via a wired cable will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C port, regardless of their manufacture.”

Most of the large electronics firms have adopted a USB Type-C port, with the exception of Apple. Apple uses the USB-C standard in some Macs and iPads but not for all its devices. It is reportedly testing its use in iPhones. The newest announcement might make the tech giant adopt USB-C in all its devices at a faster pace and totally drop its Lightning charger around the world.

Europe has been working towards mandating a single standard charger from more than 10 years. Major electronics manufacturers had voluntarily supported USB Micro B standard but the agreement had lapsed in 2014 and it was not renewed.

In 2022, the European Union has passed legislation as a result of trilateral negotiations between the European Commission, the Parliament and the Council. It is now mandatory for all industry manufacturers to use a USB Type-C port in their electronic devices. All devices have to have USB-C charging ports by 2024 except laptops which need to get these ports by 2026.

Companies will also have to sell devices without chargers. The European Commission noted that 11,000 tons of e-waste was produced as a result of discarded and unused chargers, each year.

In a statement, Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner who played a major role in negotiating the deal said, “A common charger is common sense for the many electronic devices on our daily lives.”

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