The European Union has agreed on a law to require all new smartphones, tablets and laptops to use a common charger by 2026.
The move forces Apple to change connections for new iPhones and AirPod cases from the lightning port to USB-C ports.
The EU agreement, which is not yet formally approved, aims to cut down on electrical waste and to ease consumers’ charging issues where devices are incompatible with the chargers available.
Sinn Fein MEP Chris MacManus welcomed the “long overdue” move.
“I’m very glad to finally see some tangible progress on this issue. It is a common sense approach that Sinn Féin have pushed for at an EU level for some years now.” said the Midlands Northwest MEP. “My predecessor Matt Carthy also called for this when he was an MEP. It’s the kind of consumer-first political intervention we need to see more of.”
Apple will now have to change the connector on all iPhones sold in Europe by 2024.
“The majority of device users next year will be using USB-c. This connector type and whatever eventually replaces it will be standard across the board. Meaning consumers will not be punished for changing brands. It will also mean less electronic waste. This standardisation is expected to save consumers in the region of €250 million which will be welcome news to many feeling the impacts of the current cost of living crisis.”
MacManus concluded, “It’s not a revolutionary change but it is common sense. Anything that protects consumers and saves money is always very welcome.