All smartphones and tablets would have to use a common charger under a provisional European Union agreement clinched on Tuesday.
The plan would force all companies -- most notably Apple Inc. -- to make phones, tablets, e-readers and digital cameras to use the USB-C charger, negotiators announced.
The plan, which the European Commission unveiled last year, was provisionally approved Tuesday and will save consumers an estimated 250 million euros ($267 million) each year. The European Parliament and 27 EU countries need to sign off on the agreement. Phones and tablet makers will have to comply by the fall of 2024.
"A common charger is common sense for the many electronic devices on our daily lives,” Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said in a statement. "European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics -- an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste.”
The proposal originally angered Apple, which said it would reduce innovation. But the company is currently testing future iPhone models that replace the current Lightning charging port with the more prevalent USB-C connector.
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