Every new smartphone may drop its charger from the box by 2024

iPhone 13
The charging port on the iPhone 13 (Image credit: TechRadar)

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 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.

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.

iPhone 13

The iPhone 13 (Image credit: TechRadar)

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.

James Peckham

James is the Editor-in-Chief at Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.