Apple Products Set to Use Common Charging Point

A provisional European Union agreement that was ratified on Tuesday would require all tablets and smartphones to use the same charger.

The plan would force all companies—most notably Apple Inc.—to make phones, tablets, e-readers and digital cameras use the USB-C charger, negotiators announced. The scope includes headsets, headphones, and video-game consoles.

Last year’s plan was revealed and provisionally approved by the European Commission Tuesday. The plan will allow consumers to save 250 million euros ($267 millions) annually, according to estimates. It is necessary that the European Parliament and all 27 EU members sign this agreement.

By the autumn of 2024, tablet and phone makers must comply with these rules. Laptops have more time to comply, and negotiators will give laptop makers 40 months notice after the new rules are in effect.

Continue reading: Apple CEO Tim Cook Worries Losing Privacy Could Change People’s Behavior

“A common charger is common sense for the many electronic devices on our daily lives,” Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said in a statement. “European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics—an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste.”

Apple initially objected to the proposal, saying it would limit innovation. The company is testing the future iPhone models which replace the Lightning charging port with a more common USB-C connector. Apple’s current laptop models use the USB C charger.

The commission will be able to set standards for wireless charging in the future, said Alex Agius Saliba, the lead negotiator for the European Parliament, as the EU does not want to “end up in a situation where we will be legislating for a market which is basically dying out.”

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