Apple could be forced to abandon its charging ports in favour of USB-C chargers, according to new EU proposals.
Legislation suggested by the European Commission would see the USB-C port become standard across all electronic devices, impacting phones as well as tablets, cameras, headphones and other portable devices.
If successful, the plans would most significantly impact Apple, who have stuck with their own unique lightning chargers across most of their products – although recent iPad and MacBook products have come with USB-C compatibility.
The company has previously rejected the proposals on the grounds they would restrict competition, telling the BBC ‘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 EU says it’s introducing the proposals in an effort to cut down on waste from electronic devices, with the standardised charging ports aimed at encouraging consumers to reuse cables on multiple devices.
‘We gave industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now time is ripe for legislative action for a common charger,’ European Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager said. ‘This is an important win for our consumers and environment and in line with our green and digital ambitions.’
According to the BBC, the European Commission hopes to pass the legislation in 2022, with manufacturers then set to be given two years to switch to USB-C ports across affected devices.