EU Lawmakers hope to have a deal by year end establishing a Single Port for Mobile Chargers, impacting Apple the most
In May we reported that back in September 2021 we reported that the EU Commission decided to enforce the use of USB-C connectors on all digital devices and chargers and so It's not surprising to learn today that Apple is testing USB-C connector for next-gen iPhones, iPads and more starting in 2023 at the earliest.
Last month Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported "Apple Inc. is testing future iPhone models that replace the current Lightning charging port with the more prevalent USB-C connector, according to people with knowledge of the situation, a move that could help the company conform with looming European regulations.”
It’s now being reported in Europe that a key lawmaker told Reuters that “EU lawmakers and member states could clinch a deal on a common charging port for mobile phones, tablets and headphone by the end of the year. A deal by the end of the year is doable. This is our ambition.”
Half the chargers sold with mobile phones in 2018 had a USB micro-B connector, while 29% had a USB-C connector and 21% a Lightning connector, according to a 2019 Commission study.
While the EU Commission’s list is only focused on connectors for mobile phones, tablets and headphones, Alex Agius Saliba, a Maltese politician, Member of the European Parliament for the Labor Party, is pushing for a broader scope that is likely to impact Samsung and Huawei and other device makers and a shorter timeline than the Commission’s draft. Saliba noted that “this would be a totally missed opportunity if we only focus on smartphones.”
Saliba is proposing that e-readers, low-powered laptops, keyboards, computer mice, earbuds, smart watches, and electronic toys to have a single mobile charging port. Saliba hopes that the Commission could aim to harmonize wireless charging systems by 2025 and that the legislation should come into force six months after it is adopted, by which time companies will have to adapt their devices, instead of two years.”
For now, the focus is USB-C connectors on all digital devices and chargers. The EU Commission has been working on this proposal for at least a decade. Will it finally pass in Europe’s Parliament or will heavy lobbying derail it once again?