USB-C will be mandatory for smartphones sold in the EU by fall 2024


Legislators in the European Union have struck an agreement on legislation that would require all future cellphones sold in the EU — including Apple’s iPhone — to feature the universal USB-C connection for wired charging by the fall of 2024. Other electronic gadgets, including as tablets, digital cameras, headphones, portable video game consoles, and e-readers, will be subject to the ban.

The law has been under consideration for years, but it was only this morning that multiple EU authorities came to an agreement on its scope and contents.

The announcement was made in a tweet by the European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection; ahead of a press conference scheduled for 12:30 CEST (6:30 AM ET) later today. The EU Parliament and Council must still pass the law later this year; although this looks to be more of a formality than anything more. The European Parliament claimed in a news release that the law will be in force “by fall 2024.”

In a statement, European Parliament rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba remarked; “Today we have made the common charger a reality in Europe!” said the European Parliament’s rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba in a statement. “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.”; Wireless chargers will be subject in the law, as well as the harmonization of fast-charging standards.

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The guidelines will reduce e-waste in the EU by making electronic device chargers compatible. Legislators anticipate that in the future, phones will not need to come with a charger since customers would already have the necessary cord and wall charger at home. According to the EU, the measures may save customers 250 million euros per year in “unnecessary charger purchases” and reduce e-waste by 11,000 tonnes per year.

Apple, which is the only major smartphone maker that still uses a proprietary connector instead of USB-C, would be the most affected by the deal. Apple sold 241 million iPhones worldwide in 2021, with roughly 56 million shipped in Europe. The restrictions only apply to gadgets “that are rechargeable through a wired cable,” according to the EU news release; thus a device that solely charges wirelessly would not have to include a USB-C connector.

The present ideas for legislation were official by the European Commission in September; although the bloc’s efforts to require manufacturers to use an unified billing standard date back more than a decade. Since then, Android manufacturers have settled on micro USB and subsequently USB-C as the preferred charging standard; while Apple has transitioned from its proprietary 30-pin connection to Lightning.

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