By Mauro Orru

 

The European Parliament on Tuesday approved legislation to introduce a bloc-wide common charging standard for smartphones and other electronic devices, a move that will effectively ban Apple Inc.'s Lightning charger port that the iPhone maker currently employs in its smartphones.

The new law, which received 602 votes in favor, 13 against and eight abstentions, requires all mobile phones, tablets and cameras sold in the EU to use the USB Type-C chargers by the end of 2024. The requirement will extend to laptops from spring 2026.

"This future-proof law allows for the development of innovative charging solutions in the future, and it will benefit everyone - from frustrated consumers to our vulnerable environment," European Parliament rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba said.

The push for a universal charger in the EU's 27 member states isn't new. The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, has supported common charging for mobile phones and other electronic devices for more than a decade and has worked with the industry to bring down the number of charger types to single digits.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, but it previously said it opposed the proposed law, saying it would stifle innovation.

Apple already uses USB-C chargers on some Mac computers, but its iPhones still rely on Lightning charging ports. The company will need to redesign its iPhones to comply with the new law.

Different leads and chargers have long plagued the industry and made life difficult for consumers, who had to chuck out perfectly good chargers when upgrading to newer smartphones or switching brands, generating more electronic waste.

The EU estimates the new law will help consumers save up to 250 million euros ($245.6 million) a year on unnecessary charger purchases and reduce waste from disposed of or unused chargers that account for roughly 11,000 tons of electronic waste every year in the bloc.

 

Write to Mauro Orru at mauro.orru@wsj.com; @MauroOrru94

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 04, 2022 08:43 ET (12:43 GMT)

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