The European Parliament announced that USB Type-C will become the common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets, and cameras in the EU. This means that the Apple iPhone—a device well-known for defying the norm of other new devices around by having a lightning charging port instead, will need to make the switch by 2024.
“Today we have made the common charger a reality in Europe!… European consumers were frustrated long with multiple chargers piling up with every new device. Now they will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics,” said the European Parliament’s rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba.
The legislation has been under development for more than a decade. However, last year, the European Commission announced a proposal to force all smartphones to use the USB-C connector as its charging port.
USB-C has already become the standard for smartphones and a lot of other devices. The law aims to make products in the EU “more sustainable, to reduce electronic waste, and make consumers’ lives easier”.
It’s not just the Apple iPhones that would be forced to make the change. Tablets, e-readers, earbuds, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles, and portable speakers that are rechargeable via a wired cable will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C port as well—regardless of their manufacturer.
Lawmakers hope that in the future, phones won’t need to come with a charger in the box—as buyers will already have the accessories that they need at home. So, this shouldn’t be a problem for Apple, as they’re already selling iPhones without charger plugs and Earpods to “save the environment”… and money.
Following the European Commission’s proposal in 2021, Apple released a statement saying that they’re “concerned about the new regulations stifling innovation and thus harming European consumers”. Currently, the newest Apple MacBooks have now been fitted with (mostly) USB-C ports so the transition for their laptops shouldn’t be too hard. But as the only major smartphone manufacturer to still use a proprietary port instead of USB-C, I’m not surprised that Apple has always been opposed to it.
Phone manufacturers, including Apple, will have 24 months after the legislation is adopted this summer to adapt their devices. But the deadline is longer for laptop-makers—40 months.
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