STORY: Europeans will soon be able to forget about packing a jumble of different chargers for their gadgets.
The EU on Tuesday (June 7) agreed rules that will require a standard charging port for phones, tablets and other devices.
It’s a world-first move which Brussels says will save consumers around $267 million per year.
Euro-MP Alex Saliba set out the change:
"Today we have made the common charger a reality in Europe. European consumers were frustrated with multiple chargers piling up within their homes. Now they will be able to use a single charger for all portable electronics, which is an important step to increase consumer convenience and as I said reducing waste.”
The move follows complaints from iPhone and Android users about having to use different chargers.
Most Android phones use some type of USB port, while Apple favors Lightning cables.
Now the U.S. tech giant won’t be pleased by the EU ruling.
It has long argued that such a move will stifle innovation.
But internal market commissioner Thierry Breton says there are big benefits, which go beyond consumer convenience:
"These new rules will save more than 1,000 tones of electronic waste per year - Do you imagine? Just for one regulation - and also an additional reduction of almost 200 kilos of CO2, which is an equivalent of 10 million smartphones and 2,600 tons of raw materials.”
By the autumn of 2024, USB-C connectors will be the standard.
Since the rules will also cover cameras, e-readers and other gadgets, they will also affect makers like Samsung and Huawei, not just Apple.
The EU will also have the power to harmonize wireless chargers, which are fast catching on in popularity.