Apple to be forced to use USB-C for charging ports by EU

usb c to lightning cable 10 inches cable

The EU has unveiled plans to make all tech firms adopt the same charging ports for phones, tablets, game consoles and many other gadgets.

And that affects Apple more than any other brand.

It uses a different cable from the USB-C connector that the EU wants to make standard.

All New Android phones use the EU's favoured port a USB-C connector

Apple says the regulation will stifle innovation, and hurt consumers.

The European Union has proposed new rules that will make USB-C ports standard on smartphones, tablets, cameras, phones, portable speakers and handheld video game systems.

The move is a setback for Apple, which uses its own "Lightning" port on the iPhone. While the new rules are years away from coming into force, Apple could be compelled to make changes to its signature product.

"European consumers were frustrated long enough about incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers. We gave industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now [the] time is ripe for legislative action for a common charger," EU tech chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

"This is an important win for our consumers and environment and in line with our green and digital ambitions.

"EU citizens own three mobile phone chargers on average, according to the European Commission, the bloc's executive arm. But 38 per cent of consumers have not been able to charge their phone on at least one occasion because they didn't have the correct charger to hand.

Roughly €2.4 billion ($3.8 billion) is spent annually on standalone chargers that do not come with electronic devices, according to the Commission.

The commission also sees environmental benefits.

It estimates that 1,000 tonnes of electronic waste can be avoided as a result of reduced charger production, with CO2 emissions also cut.

Now the proposal will need a green light from EU member states and lawmakers.

After that companies will have two years to update their devices.