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Single charger: Apple suffers a major setback in Europe

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This is a crucial step that has just been taken. This morning, the European Parliament has just given its green light to the obligation of a universal charger for all small electronic devices from 2024. This draft text, which was unveiled last June, was finally adopted by parliamentarians this morning in Strasbourg. However, the measure had been discussed since 2009 in Parliament.

In Europe, smartphones, e-readers, headsets, cameras, wireless headphones, video game consoles, GPS, computer keyboards and mice and portable speakers will therefore have to stick to USB-C ports, no exceptions.

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Laptops will have a few years of respite: this measure will only concern them from 2026. We note a small exception: connected watches which, due to their compactness, still escape this rule.

11,000 tonnes of waste per year

Behind this measure, Europe wishes not only to facilitate savings for consumers (who will thus be able to avoid the purchase of multiple chargers) but above all to make an eco-responsible commitment. Each year, nearly 11,000 tons of electronic waste would be directly linked to discarded chargers.

“It’s a great day for consumers, a great day for our environment”

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– Maltese Labor MEP Alex Agius Saliba

In parallel with this measure, manufacturers will have to offer new devices in a version without a charger. But this text also goes further in the harmonization of chargers: the charging speed cannot be restricted when used with a device of a different brand. Thus, an iPhone will no longer be able to limit the charging speed when using a third-party charger.

The big loser in this story is none other than Apple, which has long campaigned against this measure. The Californian company claimed that such standardization would harm their capacity for innovation. Feeling the wind turn, the firm has however made changes in recent years by adopting USB-C on its tablets (iPad) and computers (Mac).

If the new generation of iPhone 14 still retains the Lightning port, Apple will have to review its copy on future models. The same goes for its wireless headphones, the AirPods, which also use this connector. Devices can always choose to multiply the charging ports provided they have at least one USB-C type connector. Its smartphones will still be able to offer wireless charging while Macs could still keep the MagSafe magnetic connector.

Source: Presse-Citron

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