Apple says that the EU’s proposals for all smartphones to feature a universal USB-C port would stifle innovation and create an “unprecedented volume of electronic waste”.

The US tech giant is unhappy that it may soon be forced to ditch its proprietary ‘Lightning’ connector, which is used to charge its popular iPhone models.

The European Commission has set out its “green and digital ambitions” in an 18-page directive following on from what it claims to be years of frustration for consumers who own a vast number of incompatible chargers.

The majority of new Android devices, including those from Samsung and Huawei, already adhere to the latest USB-C standard, though older models have USB Micro-B charging ports.

A single standard would reduce e-waste, according to the EU, and would be applicable for phones, as well as tablets, cameras, handheld video game consoles and other devices.

While the European Commission’s research found that around 11,000 tonnes of waste is generated each year via the disposal of charging cables, Apple says that the new rules would create even more.

This is because around a fifth of all mobile phones sold in the EU have a Lightning connector.

CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood believes that the proposals are a step in the right direction and would be a “victory for common sense” for consumers.

It could take a while for them to come into force though as the European Parliament and national governments still need to have their say prior to a two-year transition period if they are given the go-ahead.