In a blow to Apple, the EU settles on a single mobile charging port.

IPhone 12 phones are seen at the new Apple Store on Broadway
in downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 24, 2021.
(Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)
  • Apple has tilll 2024 to make changes
  • Company claims that the shift will stifle innovation.
  • Apple’s sales could be boosted by the sale of newer phones.

In a world first, EU governments and parliament agreed on Tuesday to a single charging port for mobile phones, tablets, and cameras, requiring Apple to modify the connector on iPhones sold in Europe by 2024.

After corporations failed to achieve a single solution, the European Commission intervened, claiming that it would make life easier for customers and save them money.

For more than a decade, Brussels has pushed for a single mobile charging connector, sparked by concerns from iPhone and Android users about having to switch between multiple chargers for their smartphones.

iPhones use Lightning cables to charge, while Android smartphones use USB-C connectors.

The corporation had previously warned that the measure would stifle innovation and result in a pile of technological garbage, but did not immediately react to a request for comment.

Despite this, its stock was up 0.9 percent in New York morning session.

According to analysts, the switch might be a sales driver for Apple in 2024, pushing more Europeans to buy the latest products rather than those without USB-C.

“We are pleased that laptops, e-readers, earbuds, keyboards, computer mouse, and portable navigation devices are covered,” said Dr Alex Agius Saliba, a Maltese MEP who led the debate in the European Parliament.

According to CFRA Research analyst Angelo Zino, it may entice buyers to upgrade to a new phone sooner. “Pre-existing customers can continue to utilise the Lightning cable,” he said, “but there may be fewer purchases of older devices on third-party marketplaces.”

Bloomberg reported last month that Apple is working on an iPhone with a USB-C charging port that could be released next year. When Apple announces new iPhones, older models are frequently discounted, resulting in millions of buyers opting for the less expensive models.

According to Jitesh Ubrani, research manager at research firm IDC, if the EU forbids the sale of older models, it risks offending many consumers and forcing them to pay more. According to a 2019 Commission survey, half of the chargers sold with mobile phones in 2018 had a USB micro-B connector, 29 percent had a USB-C connector, and 21 percent had a Lightning connector.

In a statement, the European Parliament stated, “By fall 2024, USB Type-C will become the common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets, and cameras in the EU.” Consumers would save roughly 250 million euros ($267 million) as a result of the agreement, according to EU industry director Thierry Breton. “It will also allow new technologies to arise and mature, such as wireless charging, without allowing innovation to become a cause of market fragmentation and consumer discomfort,” he said.

Laptops will be required to comply with the law within 40 months after its implementation. Wireless charging solutions will be harmonised by the EU executive in the future. Analysts believe that because the agreement encompasses e-readers, earbuds, and other technologies, it will have an influence on Samsung, Huawei, and other gadget makers.

“We are pleased that laptops, e-readers, earbuds, keyboards, computer mouse, and portable navigation devices are covered,” said Dr Alex Agius Saliba, a Maltese MEP who led the debate in the European Parliament.

($1 = €0.9364)

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