Smartphone manufacturers may be forced to drop the charger from the box of your next handset, by 2024.
The European Commission is presenting a legislative proposal on Thursday this week for a common charger on electronic devices, according to a person familiar with the mater.
Politico (opens in new tab) reports that the proposal will be discussed later this week, and it suggests the European Commission plans to make the proposal into law in 2024. There's a long process for this to happen, but it's the most significant step yet.
- Our time so far with the iPhone 13
- Plus we've used the iPhone 13 Pro
- The best iPhone chargers
The legislation also contains an element that would force all manufacturers to stop selling chargers inside the box with smartphones in the European Union.
The aim is to cut down on e-waste, and it'll impact smartphones, tablet computers, headphones, cameras and speakers. These rules won't be the same for ereaders or wireless chargers, but it's unclear why these differ.
Your future iPhone may also one day drop the Lightning charger port in favor of a USB-C connector due to this new legislation. We've previously heard similar, and it seems the European Commission is pushing ahead with its plans.
Apple has opposed the idea before, claiming it will impact the company's innovation, but Apple is the main target of this legislation as it's the biggest smartphone manufacturer that doesn't use USB-C charging.
Analysis: it may not impact everyone
While this legislation will be a big deal for smartphone manufacturers, it may be that companies are able to avoid the changes because these just impact those in the European Union.
A standardized charging port may see Apple embrace USB-C across the entire world, but smartphone manufacturers may find they're able to still include chargers in the box in non-EU countries.
Those in the US, UK or Australia may not be impacted by this legislation, and there's also no guarantee this will become law at all.
That said, we expect more and more smartphone manufacturers to drop chargers from the box in the coming years in an attempt to tackle e-waste anyway.