The European Union hopes to have a common charging port for mobile phones, tablets and headphones under a proposal presented by the European Commission in a world first on Thursday, with the move impacting iPhone maker Apple more than its competitors.
The move has been more than 10 years in the making, with the European Union Executive trumpeting environmental benefits and 250 million euros $293 million of annual savings for users.
Under the Commission's proposal, a USB-C connector will become the standard port for all mobiles, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld videogame consoles. Chargers will also be sold separately from electronic devices.
The European executive will revise its Eco Design Regulation in the near future so that the common power supply is final and interoperable, which is the last step for an external charge.
The Commission said it is not targeting Apple and only acted because companies were not able to agree on a common solution after a decade of talks that have reduced the number of cellphone chargers to three from 30.
How strict is regulation of just one type of connector which in turn will harm consumers and consumers in Europe and around the world, the company said in a statement.
It also expressed concerns about the 24 month transition period for companies to comply with the legislation once it is adopted.
We gave industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now time is ripe for the common mobile charger. This is an important win for our consumers and environment and in line with our green and digital ambitions, says Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager.
Commission industry manager Thierry Breton said a common charging port would increase convenience and reduce waste.
Why do I need to use different chargers for my phone every time I want to charge my iphone. The former is charged using a USB cable while older Android devices are charged with Lightning connectors.
Half of the chargers sold to smartphones in 2018 had a USB micro-B connector, while 29% had a USB-C connector and 21% a Lightning connector, according to a 2019 Commission study.
The proposal needs the green light from EU leaders and the EU lawmakers who will give companies two years to adapt their devices.