The European Union reached a deal on Tuesday that will force all new smartphones, tablets and laptops to use a common charger by 2026.
The policy is an attempt to address the well-known consumer frustration of having a drawer full of chargers – some for Apple devices, others for portable speakers or portable gaming systems. This brings an unusual level of involvement of a government regulator in product design decisions.
Policymakers said the move would reduce e-waste. But the new law had faced opposition from companies such as Apple, which said it would prevent the development of new charging technologies. Under the law, a European standards body will be tasked with reviewing future charger designs for all devices.
By 2024, all new cell phones, tablets, digital cameras, portable video game devices, headphones, portable speakers, keyboards, mice, headphones, and other portable devices will need USB-C charging ports, a announced the European Commission. By 2026, the law will apply to laptops.