The Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCPC) has voted 43:2 in favor of making USB Type-C the new standard for portable devices. The new mandate, once implemented, will push for a standardized charging port for devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and digital cameras. This could come as blow to Apple, which still uses Lightning ports for iPhones.
EU’s proposed rule aims to reduce e-waste by adopting a common charger for portable electronic devices. The European Commission had tabled the proposal for a common charger back in September 2021. Earlier this year, the EU adopted its position on common standard port for “all smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones, portable speakers and video game consoles.”
The new rule hopes that users will be able to use a single charger for all of their small and medium-sized electronic devices. The report says:
Mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers, rechargeable via a wired cable, would have to be equipped with a USB Type-C port, regardless of the manufacturer. Exemptions would apply only for devices that are too small to have a USB Type-C port, such as smart watches, health trackers, and some sports equipment.
Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Alex Agius Saliba commented on the IMCPC’s vote:
“We are proposing a truly comprehensive policy intervention, building on the Commission’s proposal by calling for the interoperability of wireless charging technologies by 2026 and improving information given to consumers with dedicated labels. We are also expanding the proposal’s scope by adding more products, such as laptops, that will need to comply with the new rules.”
Once the European Parliament fully approves this draft at the plenary session set for May, MEPs will commence discussions with EU governments to finalize the details of the legislation. It’s too soon to say how it will affect Apple, as the company may ditch Lightning ports and offer wireless charging for iPhones by the time the new rule is implemented in 2026. Additionally, the Apple Watch is exempt from this mandate due to its small size. Last year, the iPhone maker claimed to do its bit for the environment by not bundling power adapters with iPhones and saying that this will save 861,000 tons of metal.
Do you think Apple could skirt the upcoming rule by fully transitioning to wireless charging? Let us know in the comments![Via European Parliament]