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EU approves one portable charging port in a blow for Apple

EU approves one portable charging port in a blow for Apple
  • Apple has until 2024 to make changes
  • The company said change will hurt innovation
  • Apple can get an increase in sales from selling new phones

BRUSSELS, June 7 (Reuters) – Apple Inc (AAPL.O) The connector on iPhones sold in Europe must be changed by 2024 after European Union countries and lawmakers on Tuesday approved a single charging port for first-world mobile phones, tablets and cameras.

The political intervention, which the European Commission said would make life easier for consumers and save them money, came after companies failed to come up with a common solution.

Brussels has been pushing for a single portable charging port for more than a decade, prompted by complaints from iPhone and Android users about having to switch to different chargers for their devices.

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iPhones charge from a Lightning cable, while Android devices use USB-C connectors.

The company, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, had earlier warned that the proposal would hurt innovation and create a mountain of electronics waste.

Despite this, its shares rose 0.9% in morning trading in New York.

Analysts said the move could become a sales driver for Apple in 2024, encouraging more Europeans to buy the latest devices rather than those without USB-C.

It could convince consumers to upgrade to a new phone sooner, said Angelo Zino, CFRA Research Analyst.

“Existing consumers can still use the Lightning cable, but there will probably be fewer purchases of older products on third-party platforms,” ​​he said.

Bloomberg reported last month that Apple is already working on an iPhone with a USB-C charging port that could launch next year.

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iPhone 12 phones are seen at the new Apple Store on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles, California, US, June 24, 2021. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

When Apple releases new iPhones, older generation phones are usually discounted, resulting in millions of customers choosing the cheaper variants.

If the European Union bans the sale of older models, it risks angering many consumers and the government will force consumers to dump more, said Jitesh Ubrani, research director at research firm IDC.

A 2019 study by the commission showed that half of the chargers sold with cell phones in 2018 had a USB micro-B connector, while 29% had a USB-C connector and 21% had a Lightning connector.

“By the fall of 2024, USB Type-C will become the common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets and cameras in the European Union,” the European Parliament said in a statement.

EU industry chief Thierry Breton said the deal would save about 250 million euros ($267 million) to consumers.

“It will also allow new technologies, such as wireless charging, to emerge and mature without allowing innovation to become a source of market segmentation and consumer annoyance,” he said.

Laptops must comply with the legislation within 40 months of its entry into force. In the future, the EU executive will have the ability to coordinate wireless charging systems.

And the deal also covers e-readers, earphones and other tech means it will also affect Samsung (005930.KS)and Huawei (HWT.UL) and other device makers, analysts said.

“We are proud to have laptops, e-readers, earphones, keyboards, computer mice and portable navigation devices,” said Representative Alex Agios Saliba, who led the debate in the European Parliament.

(1 dollar = 0.9364 euros)

(Fu Yunchi reports in Brussels); Additional reporting by Subanta Mukherjee in Stockholm and Eva Matthews in Bengaluru; Editing by Louise Heavens, Matt Skovham, Mark Potter and David Goodman

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.