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Apple Could Be Forced To Change Its iPhone Chargers As EU Proposes USB-C For All Phones

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Apple Could Be Forced To Change Its iPhone Chargers As EU Proposes USB-C For All Phones

All phones sold in the EU could be forced to have the same universal charger - USB-C - under new rules proposed by the European Commission.

The Commission says introducing one standard charger across all phones and small electronic devices would help reduce waste as it would mean people could reuse the chargers they already have when buying a new device.

The proposal has requested phone manufacturers all use USB-C chargers - which several newer Android handsets already use.

Older Android phones use USB micro-B, while Apple has its own completely separate charging system.

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If the new rule were introduced, manufacturers would have two years to switch their devices over to the new system.

How many of you will admit to having a drawer that looks a bit like this? Credit: Alamy
How many of you will admit to having a drawer that looks a bit like this? Credit: Alamy

The EU has said the law would apply to mobile phone handsets as well as other devices including tablets, headphones, handheld game consoles and portable speakers.

However, Apple - which uses its 'Lightning' connector charger - has hit back saying it has 'concerns' about the proposal.

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An Apple spokesperson said in a statement: "We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world.

"We look forward to continued engagement with stakeholders to help find a solution that protects consumer interest, as well as the industry's ability to innovate and bring exciting new technology to users."

Apple has previously said the rules would risk 'creating an unprecedented volume of electronic waste'.

Apple has said it aims to ensure all its devices are carbon neutral by 2030.

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Margrethe Vestager, executive vice-president for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, says the proposals would boost the EU's 'green ambitions'.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

She told the PA news agency: "European consumers were frustrated long enough about incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers.

"We gave industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now time is ripe for legislative action for a common charger.

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"This is an important win for our consumers and environment and in line with our green and digital ambitions."

If the proposals do go ahead, it could be years until it's officially rolled out as any rule changes would be scrutinised by MEP and national governments before being introduced.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: EU, Technology, Apple, iPhone

Claire Reid
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