He took another step towards making all smartphones in the region compliant with the rule of being equipped with a USB-C port, with the aim that users will only need to use a single cable for all their devices by the end of 2024.
This regulation has taken more than 10 years to develop and is still in the legislative process in the European Union, which is why it has not entered into force. Last June, the European Commission accepted the proposal and after Parliament’s approval, it is only up to the European Council to give the go-ahead for it to become law.
Once the Council has formally approved it, this initiative will enter into force 20 days later and the Member States of the European Union will have 12 months to change the rules and another 12 months to apply them.
This means that if the Council approves the rule at the end of this year, the law would have its repercussions at the end of 2024. Likewise, the Parliament detailed that from the spring of 2026, the obligation will be extended to laptops.
The main arguments of the European legislators to motivate this initiative are the environment and innovation. According to their expectations, once these rules are implemented, there would be a reduction of close to 11,000 tons of electronic waste that is registered per year, as well as a saving of 250 million euros in “unnecessary purchases of chargers”.
“The common charger will finally become a reality in Europe. We’ve waited over ten years, but we can finally put this current plethora of chargers in the past. This future-proof law enables the development of innovative charging solutions and will benefit everyone, from frustrated consumers to our vulnerable environment,” said Parliament Speaker Alex Agius Saliba.
The new rules will also apply to tablets, cameras, headphones, handheld video game consoles, speakers, e-readers, rulers and more devices. However, the rules would not apply to those products marketed before the date of application.
This measure will affect companies like Apple, which does not use this type of port on its popular iPhone, because it has its own proprietary Lightning charger and should modify its smartphone to continue selling its phone in Europe.
According to the , Europe is the second most important market for the company, since there it obtained profits of 19,287 million dollars, that is, just over 20% of its total sales.
Currently, the Cupertino company already uses USB-C connectors on its iPads and laptops, however, it has mentioned that the obligation of a universal charger is unjustified, in addition to delaying innovation.
For the EU’s internal market commissioner, Thierry Breton, this law seeks precisely the opposite, since with it, he said, “new technologies, such as wireless charging, will be allowed to emerge and mature, without allowing innovation to become a source of market fragmentation and inconvenience for the consumer”.