The European Commission wants one charging port to rule all smartphones – and it’s not Apple’s Lightning port.
The European Commission submitted a proposal Thursday mandating that all manufacturers use USB-C as the charging port for smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers, and handheld videogame consoles, Reuters reported. Chargers would be separately sold according to the proposal.
In addition to the environmental benefits, the EU believes the move will lead to an annual savings of €250 million ($293 million) for users in the EU.
“European consumers have had enough of incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers. We gave the industry plenty of time to come up with their own charging solutions, now it’s time to move forward with legislation for a common charger,” Margrethe Vestager, CEO of a Europe fit for the Digital Age, said in a statement.
Although the proposal isn’t a big deal for most manufacturers, which have switched largely to USB-C anyway, it is for Apple. Apple has been moving toward USB-C on other devices – most recently, the iPad mini – but its most important product, the iPhone, hasn’t followed suit. Their iPhones still use the company’s proprietary Lightning port.
It’s safe to say that the company isn’t too happy with the news. According to Apple, “We remain concerned that requiring just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which harms consumers in Europe and worldwide.”
Companies will have a 24-month transition period if the proposal is adopted by the European Parliament in 2022, when it is expected to become law.