The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), has announced plans to put forward a proposal to make USB-C charging ports mandatory on all smartphones and other electronics, including tablets, headphones, portable speakers, videogame consoles, and cameras.
If the proposal goes through, it will likely have a huge impact on Apple, which is currently one of the only smartphone manufacturers who doesn’t already use the new standard of charging port for its iPhones and iPads.
Currently, Apple does use USB-C on its Mac laptops, but opts for its proprietary Lightning connector on smaller devices.
According to the EU, the proposal for universal charging ports will cut down on electronic waste by allowing people to re-use existing chargers and cables when they buy new electronics.
Under the proposal, manufacturers will also be forced to make their fast-charging standards interoperable, and to provide information to customers about what charging standards their device supports.
Customers will also be able to buy new devices without an included charger.
To become law, the new proposal will need to pass a vote in the European Parliament, and if passed, manufacturers will eventually have 24 months to comply with the new rules.
Commissioner Thierry Breton said: “Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that.
“With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics – an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste.”