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EU backs common charger for mobile devices by 2024

All new devices on market in the EU will have to include a USB-C charging port by fall 2024, the European Commission and European Parliament decided Tuesday in a bid to reduce electronic waste.

“Mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, earbuds, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers that are rechargeable via a wired cable will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C port, regardless of their manufacturer,” read a Parliament press release, “Laptops will also have to be adapted to the requirements by 40 months after the entry into force.”

This includes all laptops, confirmed shadow rapporteur Andrey Kovatchev. The longer implementation period of 40 months rather than 24 is a compromise after disagreements over whether laptops should be in scope, as they tend to require more power and use a wider variety of chargers.

Other sticking points were whether vendors would be forbidden from bundling chargers with each device, to save on waste, and how wireless chargers should be standardized. These will now be addressed at a later date after further assessments by the European Commission and standards authorities, said Kovatchev.

One manufacturer that will have to make significant changes is Apple, which spoke out against the European Commission’s initial proposal in September. iPhone models use Apple’s proprietary Lightning cable.

It comes after a decade of slow progress from the EU on a standardized charging method. Shadow rapporteurs said the regulation should be voted in July’s plenary.

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