Apple has been forced to replace the charger in Europe because the EU approved the overhaul

Apple has been forced to replace the charger in Europe because the EU approved the overhaul
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  • EU Parliament approves single charge reform
  • The standard is USB-C, which is used in Android-based devices
  • A common charging port is required for new phones starting in fall 2024
  • Laptops must be compatible with a single charger from 2026

BRUSSELS, Oct. 4 (Reuters) – Apple (AAPL.O) will have to change the charger for their iPhones in the European Union from autumn 2024 to comply with new regulations that introduce a single charging port for most electronic devices.

The reform, the first of its kind anywhere in the world, was passed by an overwhelming majority in the European Parliament on Tuesday, potentially strengthening the EU’s role as a global standard-setter in phone technology. The vote confirmed an earlier agreement between the EU institutions. read more

The new rules will make USB-C connectors used by Android-based devices the standard across a bloc of 27 countries, forcing Apple to change the charging port for iPhones and other devices.

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Although many manufacturers already use USB-C, it will also be applied to laptops from 2026 and the adaptation period will be longer.

Apple is expected to be the biggest supplier of electronics to European customers, although analysts say the impact could be positive if it encourages buyers to buy the US company’s new gadgets instead of those without USB-C.

Shares of European semiconductor makers, including Apple suppliers STMicro and Infineon, rose after the vote on Tuesday.

The deal also covers e-readers, ear buds and other technology, meaning it could affect Samsung as well. (005930.KS)Huawei [RIC:RIC:HWT.UL] and other device makers, analysts said.

Apple, Samsung and Huawei were not immediately available for comment.

Under the reform, mobile phones and other devices sold after autumn 2024 must be compatible with a single charger, said Alex Agius Saliba, an EU lawmaker who is leading the reform through the EU assembly. However, older chargers will not be banned so customers can continue to use older models.

The size of the EU market means that the new rules could lead to changes in other countries.


Saliba said at a press conference that banning old chargers would have a disproportionate impact on consumers and the environment, but noted that the change would lead to a gradual phase-out of older products.

In total, 13 categories of electronic devices will have to adapt by the fall of 2024.

Parliament extended the initial proposal of the EU executive commission, which covered only seven types of devices. Lawmakers also added laptops starting in 2026.

Apple has warned in the past that the proposal would hurt innovation and create a mountain of electronics waste.

The change had been discussed for years and had led to complaints from iPhone and Android users about having to switch to different chargers for their devices.

The European Commission estimates that a single charger will save consumers about 250 million euros ($247.3 million).

A 2019 study by the commission found that in 2018, half of chargers sold with mobile phones had a USB micro-B connector, 29 percent had a USB-C connector, and 21 percent had a Lightning connector used by Apple.

In May, Bloomberg reported that Apple was working on an iPhone with a USB-C charging port that could debut next year.

The commission has also been tasked by lawmakers to assess possible regulation of wireless charging, but an EU official said no decision has yet been made, noting that the technology is still immature.

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Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Edited by Andrew Heavens and Catherine Evans

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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