The European Parliament has today decided to go ahead with a plan to introduce common charger rules for smartphones and other portable devices that would see the end of proprietary charger designs.

The thinking is that by having a common charger for mobile phones (particularly), we can collectively cut down on some of the waste and costs associated with the device cycle.

“The current incompatibility of chargers is a nightmare and a real inconvenience for consumers. This new directive ends this nightmare and is also good news for the environment as it will result in a reduction of electronic waste,” said European parliament negotiator Barbara Weiler in a statement, according to PCWorld.

The process started back in 2012 when the suggestion of having a common charger was added-on to proposals for changing the rules around radio equipment – primarily designed to ensure that new devices and services didn’t interfere with each other. More recently, today’s decision follows a provisional ruling back in December last year to push for a common charger.

In most cases, the rule about chargers won’t affect a lot of manufacturers operating in Europe, but Apple is one notable device maker that plays by its own charging rules. However, it looks likely that this will now have to change, within Europe at least.

We’ve asked Apple for comment and will update accordingly if we hear back.

➤ Europa [Press release] via PCWorld

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