The European Union aims to have a common charging port for mobile phones, tablets and headphones under a European Commission proposal presented on Thursday in a world first.
Under the Commission’s proposal, a USB-C connector will become the standard port for all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld video game consoles. Chargers will also be sold separately from electronic devices.
The move has been more than 10 years in the making, with the EU executive touting environmental benefits and €250 million in annual savings for users.
The EU executive will revise its eco-design regulation in the near future so that the external power supply is interoperable, which is the last step for a common charge.
Apple pushed back against the proposal.
The Commission said it was not targeting Apple, whose devices use a different Lightning cable, and only acted because companies were not able to agree on a common solution despite a decade of talks, which have reduced the number of mobile phone chargers to three from 30.
“We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world,” the company said in a statement.
It also voiced concerns about the 24-month transition period for companies to comply with the legislation once it is adopted.
Commission industry chief Thierry Breton pointed to the ungainly sight of multiple charging cables.
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