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The EU Parliament votes to require a universal charger for all mobile phones from 2024

Europeans will soon find it easier to find the right charging cables for each of their devices. The European Parliament on Tuesday approved a measure that would require all cellphones and other small portable electronic devices sold in the European Union to have the same USB Type-C charging port.

This means that Europeans will no longer need a different charger for each new device, regardless of manufacturer.

The measure, which still needs the final approval of the European Council, would order the change for new mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones/earphones, portable game consoles, portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, and earbuds will take effect at the end of 2024. Laptop manufacturers will have until 2026 to update your cargo requirements.

“The common charger will finally be a reality in Europe”, said the rapporteur of the Parliament Alex Agio Saliba in a sentence.

“We have waited over 10 years for these rules, but we can finally put the current plethora of shippers in the past.”

The European Commission has been in favor of a universal charging solution since 2009 when it first proposed a voluntary agreement with technology manufacturers that reduced the number of cell phone chargers on the market from 30 to three, but that expired in 2014. Meanwhile, complaints from iPhone and Android users about having to switch to different chargers for their devices continued after the introduction of Apple’s Lightning connector in 2012.

Unused chargers account for 11,000 metric tons of e-waste a year in Europe and cost Europeans €250 million a year, according to a European Commission report. This rule is part of a larger effort to reduce e-waste and costs for consumers by allowing shoppers to choose whether to include a new charger when buying a new device and removing shoppers from being forced to purchase a specific charger for a new device. device.

Charging speed would also be throttled for all devices, so users could expect to charge all of their devices at the same fast speed regardless of which charger they use.

Most notably, the rule would affect Apple, whose iPhones require a Lightning charger, unlike Android devices that currently use the USB-C charger. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The rule could mean that manufacturers like Apple could upgrade iPhones to include USB-C globally to reduce the potentially high cost of switching ports for just one market. Apple has in recent years switched some devices like its newer laptops and iPads to USB-C charging ports in recent years.

US lawmakers have also taken note of Europe’s move, with legislators including Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent of Vermont, sending a letter in June to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo calling for universal chargers for electronic devices in the US.

The law, which passed Parliament 603-13 with eight abstentions, will now be sent to the European Environmental Council meeting on October 24 and is expected to go through final approval before the law officially comes into force.

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