Phone chargers to be standardised across Europe from 2024 – forcing Apple to change to USB-C

Apple has previously opposed the move, saying it would stifle innovation and create waste.

The European Parliament has voted to introduce an EU standard charging port for mobile phones.

By 2024 all phones, tablets and cameras will have to use USB-C connectors, the current standard charger on Android products.

The move will have big implications for Apple, which uses its own Lightning connector on its products.

Along with mobile phones the rule will also apply to ear buds, e-readers and a host of other electronic devices, meaning it could also impact Samsung and Huawei too.

The European Commission has previously said that a common EU charger could save consumers around €250 million (£219 million).

Back in June, the UK government said that it was not planning to follow the EU’s lead on adopting a common charging cable.

However, it would apply in Northern Ireland under the terms of the Brexit agreement reached with the EU, which keeps the Northern Ireland inside the single market for goods, unlike the rest of the UK.

How this will practically impact consumers in England, Scotland and Wales, remains unclear.

Samsung, Apple and Huawei have not yet commented on the reform, which passed through the parliament by a huge majority of 602 for to just 13 against.

Apple has previously cautioned against such a move, arguing that it would stifle innovation and create huge amounts of electronics waste.

A universal charger has been discussed for years as users of iPhone and Android phones complained about having to have different chargers for their devices.

Official figures show that half the chargers sold with mobile phones in 2018 had a USB micro-B connector, while 29% had a USB-C connector and 21% an Apple Lightning connector.

MEP Alex Agius Saliba said: “The common charger will finally become a reality in Europe. We have waited more than ten years for these rules, but we can finally leave the current plethora of chargers in the past.

“This future-proof law allows for the development of innovative charging solutions in the future, and it will benefit everyone – from frustrated consumers to our vulnerable environment.”

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