EU Parliament approves common charging cable from 2024
European MPs have voted for a law requiring all new portable devices to use the same type of charging cable.
Smartphones and tablets, including the Apple iPhone and iPad, would have to use a USB-C charger from 2024, while laptop manufacturers would have until 2026 to make the change.
There were 602 votes in favour and 13 against, with eight abstaining.
Member states are expected to grant approval on 24 October, before the rule is signed into law at the parliament.
Following a provisional agreement by the European Union, in June 2022, the UK government told News BBC it was not "currently considering" introducing a common charging cable.
But under the current post-Brexit arrangements, the new regulation could apply to Northern Ireland.
The "new requirements may also apply to devices sold in Northern Ireland under the terms of the Northern Ireland protocol in the Brexit agreement, potentially triggering divergence of product standards with the rest of the UK", according to a December 2021 parliamentary report.
The treaty works by keeping Northern Ireland inside the EU's single market for goods, while the rest of the UK is outside it.
A row between the UK and EU about how to reform the Northern Ireland protocol remains unresolved.
EU commissioner for competition Margrethe Vestager celebrated the new rule on Twitter, citing the "waste and inconvenience" of having multiple chargers.