June 7 (UPI) — The European Union said Tuesday that it’ll require in the near future one single charging cord that will work for all smartphones and similar devices, a move toward making things less confusing for users and cutting out electronic waste.
The European Parliament announced a provisional agreement for the rule, which will mandate that all devices can be charged with a USB Type-C cable. The law will take effect in 2024.
Most smartphone makers already use the Type-C cable, but Apple uses its own to power iPhones and iPads. The new law will require them to supply Type-C cables in all 27 countries and states in the EU.
“This is not a common charging solution, a common charger only for smartphones. This is a common charging solution for a list of 15 different products,” European Parliament rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba told reporters Tuesday.
The move is aimed at making varying devices easier on consumers and reduce electronic waste.
“This law is a part of a broader EU effort to make products in the EU more sustainable, to reduce electronic waste, and make consumers’ lives easier,” the European Parliament said in a statement.
The rule applies to tablets, earbuds, digital cameras, headphones and other devices that use similar charging cables. Laptops will also be required to use the Type-C cable, but will have a longer grace period to comply with the law.
During the legislative process, the European Electronics Recyclers Association called the proposal a “great opportunity for reuse.”
Apple has argued that requiring a single charger type would “freeze innovation” and be “unnecessarily disruptive” to consumers. It said that about a billion Apple devices would need to be fitted with Type-C adapters or become obsolete, which would be bad for the environment.