Despite Apple’s displeasure, EU plans to impose a common charger for all phones

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A view of a harmonized cell phone charger is seen during a press conference at the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels on February 8, 2011. REUTERS

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A view of a harmonized cell phone charger is seen during a press conference at the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels on February 8, 2011. REUTERS

The European Commission will present a legislative proposal for a common charger for cellphones, tablets and headphones on Thursday, a person familiar with the matter said – a move likely to affect iPhone maker Apple (AAPL.O) more than his rivals.

The EU executive and EU lawmakers have been pushing for a common charger for more than a decade, saying it would be better for the environment and more convenient for users.

The Commission wants the sale of chargers to be decoupled from devices and also offers a harmonized charging port, the person said.

Apple, whose iPhones are charged from its Lightning cable, said rules requiring connectors to conform to a type could discourage innovation, create a mountain of e-waste and irritate consumers.

Rival Android-based devices are charged using USB-C connectors. Half of chargers sold with cellphones in 2018 had a micro-B USB connector, while 29% had a USB-C connector and 21% a Lightning connector, according to a 2019 Commission study.

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