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30 September, 2022
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EU to implement one charger for all devices by 2024

The historic decision by the EU is a blow to Apple

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

In a historic decision and a world first, the negotiators of the European Parliament and the Commission today agreed in principle to implement common chargers for all electronic devices by the autumn of 2024.

Mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, e-readers, cordless headsets, digital cameras, portable speakers and handheld video consoles should have a dedicated USB Type-C charger port, no matter what brand.

"Thanks to the agreement we reached this morning, consumers will save almost 250 million euros," said European Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton.

This decision naturally affects Apple, the only company that has its own chargers with Lightning cables. Apple has, moreover, repeatedly expressed its opposition to this plan, which first came to the table more than a decade ago.

In addition, charging speeds should be harmonized for devices that support fast charging, allowing users to charge their devices at the same speed as any compatible charger.

Laptop manufacturers will also have to adopt common chargers but will have a grace period of 40 months (just over 3 years) after 2024 to adapt.

Finally, the sale of the charger separately from the mobile phone

According to the European directive, consumers should be provided with all the necessary details about the features of the new devices, so that they know if their current chargers are compatible.

Another point that may provoke a reaction from manufacturers is that the European Union explicitly states in its directive that consumers should have the option of buying an electronic device with or without its charger. Some companies (especially Apple) sell separate gadgets, such as chargers and headphones.

"Thanks to the agreement we reached this morning, consumers will save almost 250 million euros," said European Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton.

The European Commission expects that with these new directives people will use their old chargers more instead of buying new ones. It is estimated that discarded chargers reach 11,000 tons per year. At the same time, it encourages the development of new technologies, such as wireless charging.

According to a Commission survey, half of the chargers sold in 2018 had a USB micro-B port, 29% had a USB-C port and 21% used a Lightning cable.

After the summer, this plan will have to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the European Council.


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