The European Union is ready for one charger to rule them all.
EU negotiators have reached an agreement to require all smartphones use the same charger — a USB-C charger, to be exact. This type of charger "will become the common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets and cameras in the EU" by fall 2024, lawmakers with the European Parliament and Council said Tuesday.
The one charger proposal was first announced in September 2021, with the European Commission saying this will be "more convenient for people and will reduce electronic waste." Many smartphones already use a USB-C charging port, but there's a notable exception: Apple, which still uses a Lightning port for its iPhones.
Once the rule is implemented, Apple's new iPhones will need to abide by the USB-C mandate to be sold in the EU, though The Verge notes it seems the company could possibly get around this by selling a phone that exclusively uses wireless charging. But that may not be necessary, as Bloomberg reported last month Apple was testing iPhones that replace the Lightning port with a USB-C connector. Apple already uses USB-C for its laptops.
But the company previously argued that requiring a switch to USB-C would disrupt "the hundreds of millions of active devices and accessories used by our European customers and even more Apple customers worldwide, creating an unprecedented volume of electronic waste and greatly inconveniencing users." The EU Parliament and Council will still need to approve the agreement.