The European Union plans to have a common charging port for mobile phones, tablets and headphones under a European Commission proposal presented on Thursday, an initiative that it says will reduce environmental waste. But that is likely to hit Apple the hardest. Under the proposal, a USB-C connector will become the standard port for all smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld video game consoles. Wireless chargers would not be affected, but the main change would come for iPhones, which currently have a proprietary Lightning charging port.

The change has been more than 10 years in the making, with the European Union executive touting environmental benefits and 250 million euros in annual savings for users. Chargers will also be sold distinctly from electronic devices. The EU supervisory will revise its eco-design guideline in the near future so that the peripheral power supply is interoperable, which is the last step for a common charge. The commission said it was not targeting Apple and only acted because companies were not able to agree on a common solution despite a decade of discussions, which have reduced the number of mobile phone chargers to three from 30. Apple pushed back against the proposal. “We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world,” the company said in a statement. Commission industry chief Thierry Breton pointed to the ungainly sight of multiple charging cables. Mr. Breton also dismissed Apple’s comments as old refrains. “I have known these companies for years. Every time we put frontward a proposal, they start to say ‘Oh, it will be against innovation’. No, it’s not against innovation, it’s not against anyone. Like everything the commission does, it’s for consumers,” he said.

The European Commission also supposed it would also need manufacturers to sell devices without chargers, if a bundled option remains available, an unbundled option of the same product would have to be offered, it said.

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