EU strikes universal charger deal, impacted Apple

(Correct typo in title)

by Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Apple will have to change the ports of its iPhones sold in Europe by 2024, the European Parliament and the member states of the European Union (EU) having agreed on Tuesday on the adoption of a universal charger USB-C for all cell phones, tablets and cameras.

This agreement comes after the companies failed to agree on a common solution. The European Commission had been pushing for a universal charger for mobile phones for more than a decade.

“By autumn 2024, the USB Type-C port will become the common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets and cameras in the EU,” the European Parliament said in a statement.

iPhone and Android smartphone users have long complained about having to use different chargers for their devices. The former charge using a Lightning port, while Android devices are powered by USB-C.

Half of chargers sold with mobile phones in 2018 had a USB micro-B port, 29% had a USB Type-C port and 21% had a Lightning port, according to a 2019 study by the Commission European.

“The agreement we reached this morning will save consumers around €250 million,” EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said in a statement.

“It will also allow new technologies such as wireless charging to emerge and grow without letting innovation become a source of market fragmentation and consumer inconvenience,” he added.

(Report Foo Yun Chee, French version Federica Mileo, edited by Kate Entringer)

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