The EU is planning to introduce a common charging port for mobile phones, tablets and headphones under a proposal by the European Commission.
The decision, which has been in the making for 10 years, will offer environmental benefits as well as €250 million in annual savings for users.
The proposal will see a USB-C connector become a standard port for all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld videogame consoles. Electronic devices and chargers will also be sold separately.
The EU executive will be revising its eco-design regulation in the near future so that the external power supply is interoperable.
Stating that it was not targeting Apple, the commission said that it only acted because companies were unable to agree on a solution.
However, Apple has pushed back against the proposal; “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,”.
The company also expressed concerns over a 24-month transition period for companies to comply with the legislation once it’s adopted.
Dismissing Apple’s comments as old refrains, European Commission for Internal Market Thierry Breton stated, “My job is to kill off these sea snakes whenever I can,”. Breton added, “I have known these companies for years. Every time we put a proposal, they start to say ‘oh, it will be against innovation’. No, it’s not against innovation, it’s not against anyone. Like everything the Commission does, it’s for consumers,”.
The proposal requires the green light from EU member states and EU lawmakers, companies will then have two years to adapt their devices.