The European Union (EU) unanimously agreed on a deal that will see all phones, tablets and cameras use a common charger, dealing a major blow to iPhone.
This will see all citizens across the EU use Type-C USB charger by the year 2024.
“By autumn 2024, USB Type-C will become the common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets and cameras in the EU,” the European Parliament said in a statement.
EU industry chief Thierry Breton said the deal would save Ksh.31.2 billion for citizens.
iPhones are charged from a Lightning cable, while Android-based devices use USB-C connectors.
“It will also allow new technologies such as wireless charging to emerge and to mature without letting innovation become a source of market fragmentation and consumer inconvenience,” he said.
According to a Reuters report, half the chargers sold with mobile phones in 2018 had a USB micro-B connector, while 29% had a USB-C connector and 21% a Lightning connector.
Apple had earlier warned the proposal would hurt innovation and create a mountain of electronic waste.
The European Commission hopes the proposal will help cut electronic waste across the continent. It says unused or discarded chargers make up 11,000 tons of “e-waste” every year.
“European consumers have been frustrated long enough about incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers,” said EU Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager.
“We gave industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now time is ripe for legislative action for a common charger. This is an important win for our consumers and environment and in line with our green and digital ambitions,” said Vestager,
The European Union has been working on this issue for more than 10 years. In 2009, it signed an agreement with major manufacturers that reduced the number of different chargers on the market.