The new rules will also apply to iPads and other Apple devices. Apple needs to dump the Lightning-port and switch to USB Type C. All manufacturers also need to switch to an interoperable fast-charging standard.
This week the European Commission plans to present a legislative proposal to force manufacturers to use a common charger for electronic devices. So a Commission official closely involved in the file told Politico.
The proposal will require all manufacturers to harmonize the charging points on devices. Specifically, they will need to use a USB-C charging point. In addition, they will have to make their software protocol for fast charging interoperable between brands and devices.
Specifically targeting Apple’s proprietary hardware regime
The main target of the new legislation appears to be Apple. The U.S. tech giant, however, has so far pushed back against EU attempts to standardize chargers through binding requirements. Apple – in typical fashion – argues that such standardization will hamper innovation.
The new rules will also apply to tablets, headphones, cameras and loudspeakers. The official explanation is that the regulations will “not harmonize all chargers directly, but harmonize the charging points on the devices.” The rules won’t apply to e-readers or wireless chargers, according to Politico.
The Commission aims to adopt the proposal next year. The official confirmed that the EC will give member countries one year to transpose it into domestic law. Manufacturers will have another year to implement it. This means that the new regulatory scheme “should be in place by mid-2024.”
In an effort to reduce e-waste, manufacturers will also be required to stop selling a charger with every new smartphone. Instead, they will need to give consumers the choice to use their old charger. The proposal received the support of the European Parliament last year.
This regulation alone could reduce the annual amount of e-waste produced in the EU by 980 tons, according to the EC.