By John Ikani
The European Commission (EC), the executive arm of the European Union (EU) is set to establish a common charging port for mobile phones and other electronic devices under a new rule proposed by the commission.
The aim is to reduce waste by encouraging consumers to re-use existing chargers when buying a new device.
The proposal is part of a revised Radio Equipment Directive that must be approved by the European Parliament before becoming law. Device manufacturers will have two years to comply with the new regulations if the plan is passed into law.
The proposed rules will apply to smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers, handheld video game consoles.
This move is likely to impact Apple the most, because the company uses its proprietary lightning connector rather than the USB-C connector adopted by most of its competitors.
Other smartphone manufacturers, such as Samsung and Huawei, have included USB-C connectors in some of their current models, although many of their older models still retain micro-USB port.
Some other products including earpods, smart-watches and fitness trackers, were not considered for technical reasons linked to size and use conditions.
The proposal also standardises fast charging speeds – meaning devices capable of fast charging will be charged at the same speeds.
Meanwhile, Apple has warned such a move would harm innovation.
The tech giant is the main manufacturer of smartphones using a custom charging port, as its iPhone series uses an Apple-made “Lightning” connector.
“We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world,” the firm told the BBC.
It added that it aims to make every Apple device and usage carbon neutral by 2030.