Apple will have to change the charger on iPhones sold in Europe by 2024 after the EU Commission agreed on Tuesday to a single mobile charging port for mobile phones, tablets, and cameras.
The political intervention came after companies failed to reach a common solution.
The European Commission said the solution would make life easier for consumers and save them money.
Brussels has been pushing for a single mobile charging port for more than a decade, prompted by complaints from iPhone and Android users about having to switch to different chargers for their devices.
By 2024, all mobile phones and tablets to use USB Type-C charger
iPhones are charged from a Lightning cable, while Android-based devices use USB-C connectors.
Half the chargers sold with mobile phones in 2018 had a USB micro-B connector while 29 percent had a USB-C connector and 21 percent had a Lightning connector, according to a 2019 Commission study.
“By autumn 2024, USB Type-C will become the common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets and cameras in the EU,” the European Parliament said in a statement.
EU industry chief Thierry Breton said the deal would save around €250m for consumers.
“It will also allow new technologies such as wireless charging to emerge and to mature without letting innovation become a source of market fragmentation and consumer inconvenience,” he said.
Apple warns it will hurt innovation
Apple, which has warned the proposal would hurt innovation and create a mountain of electronic waste, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“We are proud that laptops, e-readers, earbuds, keyboards, computer mice, and portable navigation devices are also included,” said lawmaker Alex Agius Saliba who steered the debate at the parliament.
Laptops will have to comply with the legislation within forty months of entering into force. The EU executive will have the power to harmonize wireless charging systems in the future.
The fact that the deal also covers e-readers, earbuds, and other technologies will impact Samsung, Huawei, and other device manufacturers.